Integrating sustainability helps businesses become fit for the future.
Why should we manage our business in a ‘sustainable’ manner? And what is actually the real meaning of ‘sustainability’? Our field of expertise has been given many names. Some refer to it as ‘social responsibility’, others apply concepts like CSR or CSI – acronyms meaning Corporate Social Responsibility or Corporate Social Innovation. When Pure applies the concept of sustainability, we base its application on the UN definition of sustainable development: “Development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In this context, three dimensions are key to create sustainable development: environmental, economic and social dimensions.
Integrating sustainability into the core of the business and heart of the organization helps businesses become fit for the future. Why is that?
A BUSINESS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MAKES THE FUTURE SAFE
“There is no business on a dead planet.”
Sustainable use of resources is necessary to secure future activities. Reduced access to resources will force increased focus on circular economy and a need to develop new solutions. Enterprises incorporating this understanding in their business plans will be better prepared to meet future challenges.
BECAUSE SOCIETY IS CHANGING
Cooperation is key. Future solutions must be interdisciplinary and incorporate all sectors, private, public and voluntary. As a growing number of challenges we are facing affect an increasing number of different sectors. It is only through collaborative efforts that we can mobilise sufficient resources and create better solutions.
BECAUSE IT IS PROFITABLE
A business based on sustainable development addressing and seeking solutions to needs and challenges, generates economic value for the company with positive repercussions for society.
BECAUSE IT DRIVES INNOVATION
By focussing on and utilize innovation, the business community can apply identified societal challenges as directives for solutions deemed necessary for future development. Contributing to and creating new solutions will not only guarantee the stability of the company, but increase opportunities to successfully access new market areas. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, adopted by the UN in 2015, are the most concrete measurements to be used to arrive at new solutions to sustainable development. The 17 SDGs with all their targets, can inspire us to seek solutions to the needs of the future.
BECAUSE IT TURNS THE VALUE BASIS OF THE BUSINESS INTO A DYNAMIC FOUNDATION
Responsible business ventures attract motivated and committed co-workers. Research shows that the values basis of a business enterprise and its incorporation of responsible behaviour are important in order to attract new employees. There is also a positive correlation between the employees attracted by responsible business and their own productivity and reliability. A dynamic and responsible business culture will espouse goals promoting engaged commitment within the business itself.
Today’s business enterprises are expected to reach sustainability on ‘the three bottom lines’ – with regard to the environment, to people and to economic performance. This necessitates well-functioning strategies to unite responsibility and profitability by making efforts to attain a balance between economic, social and environmental goals.
HOW WE USE THE SDGs AS A FRAMEWORK FOR OUR WORK
Pure assists companies in implementing UN’s Sustainable Development goals into their business. Our advice has four different approaches.
1) Increase knowledge and understanding.
2) Make opportunities visible.
3) Foundation for strategy and innovation.
4) Create networks for shared learning.
The UN has chosen to highlight various overall themes for the Sustainable Development Goals over the first four years:
Leaving no one behind
Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world
Transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies
Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality