Sustaining an enterprise in today’s volatile and unpredictable environment is not an easy feat. In the past, businesses tended just to focus on ensuring economic sustainability. With today’s more demanding stakeholders however, business owners and managers have to balance revenue growth along with environmental issues and social responsibility, among other sustainability concerns.
We asked Mr Mar Veran, our resource person on business sustainability, where companies and organizations should focus their attention:
In the past, social responsibility was defined in the popular imagination as merely philanthropy and volunteerism. Today however, the company’s stakeholders demand that the potential negative social impact of operating the business must be assessed and addressed. For example, companies should take accountability for the well-being of their employees (human rights, fair compensation, benefits, continuous learning, etc.), take care of the well-being of the communities within their operating boundaries, and the rights of the customers they serve. Imagine a company with demoralized employees and unending complaints from both their customers and communities where they operate. Would this company thrive?
If today, your company still has resources and can still operate even after natural calamities (typhoons, floods, drought, etc.), this may not be the case in the near future. It is common that the negative environmental impact of companies is neglected, either deliberately or ignorantly.
Businesses must understand the significance and importance of managing their resources (energy, water, materials), air emissions, and waste (solid, water, hazardous).
Companies should shift their operations to eco-friendly practices, zeroing-in to the reduction of natural resources consumption, and mitigating the release of air emissions and waste.
To ascertain success in balancing economic, social and environmental sustainability, it is fundamental to have a strong foundation of good governance. Businesses must exercise continuous stakeholder engagement taking into consideration what is material for them, and ensure that the companies’ sustainability management system (or any operating procedures, policies, etc.) addresses this under the principles of transparency and accountability.
Veran will facilitate a virtual workshop titled “Sustainability 101: Ensuring businesses respond to environment, economic, social, and governance issues” on June 17 and 24, 2022. The eight- hour course will be beneficial to managers, supervisors and specialists especially of the following functions: Operations, Engineering, Human Resources, Investor Relations, CSR, Finance, Supply Chain, Compliance and Corporate Communications.
For more information, you may write to email@example.com, or send an SMS to these numbers 0919.3428667 and 0998.9641731.
For your other online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a virtual workshop, a webinar, or a self-paced online course for your organization. —GLENN SAN LUIS
The author is the Executive Director of the Inquirer Academy.