Business Sustainability Measures – Who is in the Lead?

image: lead“Knowing how sustainability initiatives will affect a company’s bottom line is not always a straightforward endeavor…”

This lead-statement was taken from the GreenBiz article, Corporate Execs Seek Better Sustainability Measures, Survey Finds.  Leveraging the results from a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers executive poll on business sustainability measures, the post reveals that many business leaders are still uncertain on how business sustainability actions tie directly to the bottom line. 

"We know a lot of companies are faced with an external pressure to report their efforts and set goals around sustainability, as well as the need to be able to justify them internally with a value created analysis.  We’ve seen this discrepancy with our clients and in our view, the value proposition -- being able to measure and quantify the intangible benefits of sustainability in dollar terms -- should really precede setting and publishing sustainability goals, so that the latter might truly be commensurate with value created.”  - Hervé Kieffel, PwC's Sustainability Valuation 

An alternative perspective would be a focus on incremental and continuous improvement relative to traditional measures.  Rather than jumping directly to consequence and accountability, a broader business shift toward greater transparency and aligned business sustainability metrics could drive significant change.  Questions that might help frame a relative comparison include:

  • What are the business sustainability risks poised to limit company growth?
  • What are the business sustainability threats that may impact stakeholder return?
  • What are the business sustainability obstacles positioned to impact internal and external costs?
  • What are the business sustainability consequences likely to affect revenue?

Our sustainability consulting firmly believes that by embracing the merging principals of business sustainability, a company can better position itself in the increasingly positive economy.  By focusing business sustainability attention toward rather than away from traditional measures of financial success, leading organizations can reevaluate their economic and sustainability metrics, improve internal and external communication, and create alignment across the value chain.  Visit us at Taiga Company to learn more.

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