Sustainability Risk Lessons from a Recent IISD Study

image: economic recoveryAs the business world continues to investigate the growing business sustainability risks and opportunities, our sustainability consulting practice finds the decisions of the past may no longer be the solutions of the future.  Specifically focusing on ‘span of control’, we find many companies are reevaluating their traditional decision making in the context of immediate impacts and long-term business sustainability.

Exploring further, we turn our attention to a recent International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) report, Lenses and Clocks: Financial Stability and Systemic Risk.  Herein, the author examines the stability of personal and public financial systems around the world.  Differentiating between the easily identifiable short-term risks and the less visible “slow creeping” long-term eroders of value, the study explains the need to understand, monitor, and manage both simultaneously.

“Understanding these threats will also inform the choices we make to benefit from the opportunities ahead of us and, in doing so, improve life for billions of our fellow human beings, rebuild the planet’s natural capital and foster markets based on fairness and equality.” 

Business sustainability is more than just operating responsibly.  It is also about identifying and taking proactive measures to identify business derailleurs before they have unmanageable impacts on your company.  While the IISD research is directed toward financial risk and mitigation steps, our sustainability consulting finds applicable learning to other sustainability threats.  The ability to identify the indicators of change and proactively respond will place your organization a step ahead.

As the economy now turns towards a brighter future, focus is shifting from reduction towards growth.  This positive outlook brings with it the lessons of the recent past.  The expansion of business eco awareness and the revaluation of business sustainability risk have given the business world a new perspective from which to reassess criteria for future decision making. 

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