E-briefing # 2 What does sustainability mean to business?

These e-briefings are for people who are interested in a simple run-down on sustainability. We cover a wide area from how serious it is, to what it means to organizations though to ways of handling the challenges.

We are going to give it to you straight as we see it, and try and point you in a constructive direction. We also want you to work with us if you are as serious about it as we are. All companies and public sector agencies should address sustainability if they have not started to do so. We do not just mean environmental issues, or even Corporate Social Responsibility.

Three trends to look out for especially.

The first, is the availability of production and various services at much lower prices than your organization can deliver. For example, it is cheaper to send people overseas for health care than to stay in your own country. And products of equal quality can be produced for a fraction of the price in China compared to Europe.

The second trend is societal pressure. As globalization continues so does consumer awareness. Consumers and users of services are demanding transparency into your products and services to ensure they are environmentally, socially and health appropriate.

And the United Nations is pushing countries to address sustainability, with the climate challenge as a priority. Whatever route to reducing climatic effects is chosen, you can be sure that the cost of doing business is going to rise.

The third trend is the increase in cost of poor health. This does not just cover people being away from work, but being in such a poor state of health that you cannot get a full day’s work out of them.

So for businesses the message is to re-think, or Re-Imagine as Tom Peters says what your organization is up to. Falling employment, fierce competition from oversees along with rising consumer and societal demands.

These are the basics as we see them. To go deeper into how your organization can address sustainability challenges look at AVBP’s methods for across the board cooperation, or IFTSP creative inventing and problem-solving for sustainability.

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