There are at least four critical areas for businesses seeking to enhance their sustainability, including, methods, strategy, management, and reporting.
To address the specialized requirements of sustainability, companies are employing new business methods. Specifically, companies are using habitual practices and systematic processes to achieve accuracy and efficiency, often in an ordered sequence of fixed steps. Sustainable methods include business-case analysis, trend spotting, scenario planning and risk modeling.
Sustainable strategy involves planning to reduce a company’s footprint. This implies using resources efficiently and effectively. By using analytical data, businesses can position themselves to develop distinctive sustainability strategies. Many aspects of strategy development will remain internal, but companies are increasingly adopting open-source approaches that rely on outside assistance.
Some sustainable companies are instructing their managers to incorporate sustainability objectives into compensation models, reviews, and other management processes.
Some firms have invested in technology to record and report environmental events such as spills and waste disposal. An environmental management system can be the foundation for policy deployment, practice management, goal setting, decision making, and data capture.
Sustainability concerns involve obvious issues like efficiency, carbon intensity and transparency, green IT, green power use, GHG reductions, toxic emissions, packaging, water intensity, paper use and recycling. Other less obvious issues include cleantech investments and patents, employee commuting, telecommuting, environmental financial impacts and toxics in manufacturing.
There are many things that businesses can do to be more sustainable, and many good reasons to do so.
Sustainability is an Unstoppable Megatrend
The Overwhelming Logic of Sustainable Business
Climate Counts: Businesses Combating Climate Change
Social Media and Sustainability
Social Action Driving Businesses to Adopt Sustainable Practices
Consumers Continue to Embrace the Burgeoning Green Market
The 2010 World Energy Technologies Summit
America’s Most Sustainable Businesses
Canada’s Most Sustainable Businesses
A Sustainable World Order