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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Corporate Sustainability (CS) and Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Now a day’s the world’s leading companies are taking significant steps to improve their “Corporate Sustainability (CS) performance to manage business responsibly, create value in business and ensure their capital growth.

For this purpose the companies create a "green" strategy along with social, economic and environmental factors for making decisions toward long-term business success.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) takes into consideration corporations’ obligations not just to investors, but to the communities they serve and the environment as well.

So it may be said that driving corporate sustainability strategies can produce innovation across all parts of the organization to promote longevity through transparency and proper employee development.

A case study by Goldman Sachs in June 2007, clearly shows that how responsible companies make good investments and commercial benefit. The study of six industrial sectors – energy, mining, steel, food, beverages and media – found that companies considered leaders in implementing environmental, social and governance policies designed to create sustained competitive advantage had outperformed the overall stock market by 25 per cent since August 2005. Within their own sectors, 72 per cent of these leading companies had outperformed their peers over the same period.

The past ten years has experienced huge developments in the field of corporate sustainability. Thousands of companies around the world have instituted commitments and policies to incorporate and disperse universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

So every company must outline a model for corporate sustainability to generate maximum value not to the bottom line but to the environment and society at large.

The stages for successfully adopting corporate sustainability:-

Bring up to date your company’s stated visions, mission and list of values or principles to make sure that sustainability is at the heart to let your company being identified publicly, both internally and externally, as sustainability-driven.
Design corporate sustainability strategy to influence synergies among issue areas and to deal adequately with trade-offs.

Recognize all the stakeholders in your business ranging from shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, the communities. Persuade them to take part in your innovation and build up sustainable opportunities themselves.

The company should aware of carbon management and life-cycle assessments, and designing operations to use less energy and water. The companies can also find out sustainable sources of raw materials, components and energy. By addressing waste all through the supply chain, a company will decrease its costs.

Companies should implement new creative ideas related to sustainability in order to familiar with the rapidly changing environment. Companies will be accustomed with state of the art technology that can transform the product. New solutions that improve recycling and waste redirecting can ultimately reduce costs and increase profits.

People are the most significant renewable resource and the strongest asset to any organization. A strong development program must be initiated for a company's achievement or breakdown. All Employees will have to be methodically analyzed and evaluated to get into their true inspirations and aspirations. In order to get the greatest potential of the company, all employees must work towards improvement rather than perfection. Programs along with comprehensive training and evaluating should be put into practice that rewards star performers.

Embed a focus on innovation for sustainability in every part of your business and bring into line all business systems with the company’s vision of sustainability.

The companies should build up the internal capability to anticipate and help shape regulations. This needs working with other companies as well as rivals to expand industry standards.

Companies must arrange for a full review of its product to find the most harmful product to the environment and work accordingly to get the product better or phase it out. This will represent the company as a true “green” company to the public. Developing compact and eco-friendly packaging is a good first step, but companies also should consider the notion of biomimicry in product design.

Build up and apply partnership projects with public or private organizations (UN entities, government, NGOs, or other groups) on core business, social investments and/or advocacy.

A company will be in a position to better understand the purchasing demand of the eco-minded consumer if it adopts more sustainable practices internally. These include applying new delivery methods or technologies for cost saving and creating monetization models that transmit more to services than to products. Companies should build up business models that unite digital and physical infrastructures.

By applying sustainability, a company will get the ability to expand itself into new and different industries and creates business platforms that enable customers, suppliers and partners to manage energy in radically improved ways. Another opportunity is to develop products that require less or no water, as compared to similar products that are water-intensive.

Pursue social investments and charitable contributions that tie in with the core competences or operating context of the company as an integrated part of its sustainability strategy.

Supporting supply and distribution networks for mutual benefit, for example by jointly sourcing products, developing standardized supplier training modules, or aligning local procurement policies.

Put responsibility for execution of sustainability strategy in relevant corporate functions (procurement, government affairs, human resources, legal, etc.) and make sure that no function is operating in divergence with sustainability commitments and objectives of company.

Evaluate risks and opportunities on a constant basis at both enterprise and product level and take on due diligence to guarantee for identifying any negative impacts caused by its operations and activities.

Create open environment within the company as well as the community to get better performance and increase profits. An open culture always encourages employee involvement in respect of innovation and imaginative processes.

Reaching out to the community makes a much bigger team that brings evaluation from all angles. Companies are looking inward and realizing changes must be made to fulfill environment needs such as energy efficiency, limiting product waste and toxicity, and designing innovative products.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
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