The future is unknown to those who are unaware. To keep your business always on the top of its game, you have to be out of oblivion and ready for the future. While a business traditionally needs practicality and precision as its key efforts, sustainability is the oxygen that changes over time in correspondence with society’s priorities.

Sustainability is a concept with many branches, preparing for each one of whom is impossible. However, given out of the various sustainable factors, there are some that will help regain the competition in “future-fit” business and make long-term economic sense: Environmental and Social Sustainability.

Why you need environmental sustainability?

If you think your business does not need this kind of sustainability, think again. Out of the unlimited situations that can harm your business, environmental (climate change) is the biggest one.  Frequent extreme weathers, decreased demands and increased costs are only some of the global impacts of climate change risks.

Many big names like IBM, Nike are already incorporating several measures to achieve environmental and cultural endurable business models, services and products.

Ok, and social sustainability?

Even though being socially sustainable is not a major requirement now, it is increasing in demand for most big businesses. Being able to bridge the gap demographically and culturally will ensure an organization to grow, eventually helping it in thriving into the future.

It is also equally important to think about adopting social sustainability if you want to cut down on the risk mitigation factors. This type of sustainability embedded into your company will become an USP to retain workers and attract new ones.

What areas are covered under these policies?

Looking at the non-financial aspect of the sustainability, environmental and social measurements are adopted by many large (and in some cases, small) businesses to achieve performance in the infancy stage itself. According to the sustainability reporting standard (globalreporting.org), the core areas that you can cover under these practices, are:

Environmental Sustainability

  • Carbon Emissions
  • Energy Use, including water use
  • Material Use
  • Reduction of negative environmental impacts
  • Energy efficiency results
  • Waste and disposal methods

Social Sustainability

  • Customer health and safety
  • Customer labeling
  • Ethical and Cultural values
  • Donations and time for voluntary causes
  • Trust of the stakeholders
  • Breaches, if any, in regulatory compliance

A word of caution…

Make sure you do adequate research before pursuing this course as it can have significant impact on the style of your business. When businesses are clear about the gap between their present performance and the needed environmental and social performance, they surrender their incremental efforts and adopt new breakthrough techniques to redesign their business models.

By now, you are most probably convinced with the need for environmental and social sustainability, and the benefits it provides. These are the practices that will separate winners from losers in the future marketplace.