Understanding Sustainability in the Business Context

Sustainability has become a buzzword in today’s socially conscious business world. As our breathing becomes more stifled with the increased toxins in the environment and we learn to come to terms with the detrimental effects of massive industrial growth and mass production; businesses have also had to review their mandates and include ‘sustainability’ ‘environment-friendly’ and ‘socially-responsible’ as key corporate values.

Many argue about the definition of sustainability and sustainable development. It is perhaps best defined by the following definition;

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

~ Gro Harlem Brundtland, 1987- Prime Minister Norway and Chairman of the World Commission on Environment and Development

The Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) give a universal framework for organisations to align their work with social goals and create systems and evaluations based on successful outcomes that ensure success is not made at the cost of natural resources or adverse affects to the communities both locally and globally.

According to The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Why, When and How Guide for Business (28 pages, PDF), businesses that align their core values with the SDGs are more likely to build trust, retain top talent, adapt successfully to policy changes, strengthen their value chains, and unlock new global markets than companies that do not. Businesses that are early SDG adopters also are more likely to be rewarded with improved reputations, future-proofed supply chains, and more robust growth, the report argues.

The report outlines a number of steps designed to help startups and large businesses craft an SDG approach that aligns with their priorities, engage internal and external stakeholders, set actionable time-bound goals, and incorporate their efforts into non-financial reporting.

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are relatively new, and many business leaders are still trying to figure out what the goals mean for their companies,” said Stuart Burden, SVCF’s vice president of corporate responsibility. “In this practical guide, we hope to get business people talking about the SDGs and putting plans in place that catalyze real change. With the right tools, businesses can harness their capacity for innovation, strategic partnerships, and finance to play a key role in making the world a better place by 2030.”

EDUSERVE is a private consultancy service providing support to social enterprises, educational institutions and corporations in integrating the SDGs in their core objectives and development strategy. For details contact shaistakhan@eduservecommunity.org.

References:

New Report From Silicon Valley Community Foundation Helps Companies Align With the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.” Silicon Valley Community Foundation Press Release 12/06/2017.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Why, When and How Guide for Business.” Silicon Valley Community Foundation Report 12/06/2017.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

A WordPress.com Website.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: