Best practices that foster sustainability
There are several best practices that foster business sustainability, and help organisations move along the path from being behind to being leaders.
Organisations can learn from customers, employees and their surrounding community. Engagement is not only about pushing out messages, but also understanding opposition, finding common ground and involving stakeholders in joint decision-making.
Environmental management systems
These systems provide the structures and processes that help embed environmental efficiency into a firm’s culture and mitigate risks. The most widely recognised standard worldwide is ISO 14001, but numerous other industry-specific and country-specific standards exist.
Reporting and disclosure
Measurement and control are at the heart of instituting sustainable practices. Not only can organisations collect and collate the information, but they can also be entirely transparent with outsiders. The Global Reporting Initiative is one of many examples of well-recognised reporting standards.
Those organisations wanting to take a large leap forward should systematically analyse the environmental and social impact of the products they use and produce through lifecycle analysis, which measure more accurately impacts. Businesses that are sustainable have been shown to attract and retain employees more easily and experience less financial and reputation risk. These businesses are also more innovative and adaptive to their environments.