Now-a-days many organizations are focusing more on the term “sustainability”, but there still seems to be some difficulty in understanding the concept and relating it to their core business.
So let’s understand what is Sustainable Development and how is it beneficial to organizations?
Sustainable development is all about using resources more effectively and efficiently, to reduce its impact on the environment, as well as on the economy, while improving social impact, both locally and globally, to ensure a better and more sustainable future.
It comprises of three Elements:
1. Economic sustainability is the ability of making most out of available resources.
2. Environmental sustainability is about making responsible decisions, which results in reduction of the negative impact of business, on the environment.
3. Social sustainability is the ability of a social system, to develop the structures and processes, which not only meet the needs of current generation, but also supports the ability of future generations to maintain a healthy community.
In order to achieve sustainable development, all above three elements need to be attended to, because if there is any impact on one element, there the other two elements will be affected. Implementing Sustainability practices into core business activities, results in long term profits, even though does may not show any instant tangible profits.
In today’s environment, to become more sustainable, organizations are increasingly identifying the need to reduce their environmental impact and increase resource efficiency.
It is pretty clear that organizations, who have adopted this strategy could see potential benefits of implementation, in long term benefits.
A few Benefits of adopting sustainability strategies, through training and development in business are,
- Risk Reduction
- Process Improvement
- Product Advancement
- New Market Opportunities
- Brand/Culture Benefits
Let us see the results from couple of organizations after applying sustainability strategies,
Praxair, one of the largest industrial gases companies, is committed to the principles of sustainable development and work to reduce environmental footprint, while helping customers worldwide to improve their environmental performance. In 2011, Praxair reported 967 projects that produced $375 million productivity savings, out of which $62 million is of eco-productivity savings
According to Wikipedia Flextronics, is an American supply chain solutions company that offers design, manufacturing, distribution and aftermarket services to original equipment manufacturers. They are intently focused on protecting our employees, business partners, customers and communities from the several types of environmental risks, associated with the work they do. Flextronics roadmap to sustainability is based on three elements – foundation, growth and stewardship, all of which work in tandem to meet commitment to the environment. In 2011 Flextronics results showed reduction of 17% in Carbon emission, 24% in Hazardous waste, 12% in Non-Hazardous waste (in terms of Tonnes/ revenue $) and 25% in water consumption (in terms of m3 / revenue $).
Although implementing the sustainability strategies is not an easy task, a well-planned and integrated sustainability practice into business activities, helps to reduce the risk and increases business value, competitive advantage and profits.
In my next blog I will explain how sustainability in organizations is achieved through training.