Business sustainability supporters and critics continue to debate the ability to link environmental and social responsibility to business profitability. Without a definitive financial incentive, companies have historically been unreceptive to the idea of integrating sustainability concepts into core business practices without a definitive return on their investment. However, recent trends and business rankings indicate that the business world may be changing their view.
Within the post, Ratings, rankings and the world’s most sustainable company, we take a tour of the recent Top 100 as defined by the Canadian magazine Corporate Knights in their 8th release of their business sustainability honors. The list was developed from the measure of environmental and social impacts in the areas of energy, carbon, waste and water productivity, diversity and employee turnover, safety and, interestingly, the ratio between CEO and average worker pay. While these measures do not appear overly surprising or may even seem too straight forward, our sustainability consulting practice can appreciate the link to company financials. Tying impacts to economic performance, our sustainability consulting feels these results add weight to a comprehensive business sustainability measure.
Furthermore, with greater evidence now pointing to sustainability as critical component to future business success, companies that are ready to get started today can make quick progress. As stated by Paul Polman. Chief Executive Officer, Unilever:
"Making your business sustainable in today’s world is an absolute imperative. The business case for sustainable growth is clearer than ever and the urgency of the issues we face means that business leaders have no choice but to act. ”
While business sustainability may be an elusive concept to those just getting started, how might we contextulatize sustainability in ways that already exist within business? What are some components of a sustainable business culture?
- Stakeholder Engagement: Collaboration: Include all the Crayons in the Box
- Innovation: Three Executive Mindsets that Propel Sustainable Innovation
- Work life balance: Business Sustainability: Bringing New Meaning to Life/Work Balance
- Meaningful work: Which Path do You Take to Create Meaningful Work?
- Job satisfaction: Cultivating Talent with Sustainability-Based Incentives
- Sustainable leadership: Checklist for Sustainable Leadership: Do You Have What it Takes?
- Marketing: Cleanse your Business of Green Washing Sins
- Sustainability Metrics: Metrics Connecting the Dots Between Business and Sustainability
- Reporting: SAP Q1 Sustainability Report: Blazing New Frontiers in Reporting and Engagement
Business sustainability is a vehicle to enable your organization to meet profit, growth, and revenue goals, while positively impacting the environment and social realms of your business. By raising organizational eco awareness, your organization can have a positive impact on the environment and also facilitate a positive culture change within the organization.