Definition of the sustainable term followed by a description of the strategies used to balance the economic, social, and environmental dimensions in sustainable organizations.
It is clear that the context in which organizations currently exist has changed. Trends such as climate change, globalization, demographic change and social inequality have created a significant challenge to the traditional business model with its focus on shareholder value. Companies are facing pressures from governments, consumers, employees and investors to demonstrate that they are adopting ethical and sustainable business practices.
Becoming a sustainable organization is a complex issue that requires the radical transformation in many organizational structures to strengthen their “corporate sustainability”. A sustainable organization implementing sustainability strategies which provide them with economic and cultural benefits attained through environmental responsibility.
Organizational Sustainability means having the leadership, talent, global insights and change strategies necessary to rise to the the unique challenges facing organizations today. It also means an organisation’s growth that is not just speedy, but also authentic and holistic. Essentially, it means attending to issues that are ‘important’ rather than only those that are ‘urgent’, and are beneficial to the organization in the ‘long term’ rather than just in the ‘short term’.
It is critical for a company to incorporate sustainability within its business model itself.
To be sustainable, a company needs to develop the capacity within itself to continuously identify the factors affecting its holistic growth in the long term, build knowledge and skill set on how to counter the adverse factors, and roll out the changes within itself in a self sufficient manner.
One of the strongest differences between the sustainable and traditional companies in our data is that sustainable companies encourage their supply chains to adopt sustainable strategies (83% vs. 20% for traditional companies). Many of them work closely with their suppliers to support these efforts. PepsiCo, for example, invites its suppliers to an annual gathering where they share best practices and discuss progress on sustainability. These gatherings reduce the natural tension between suppliers and customers.
Sustainable growth encompasses a business model that creates value consistent with the long term preservation and enhancement of financial, environmental and social capital.