How to integrate Sustainability into Business?

January 6, 2016

 

 

 

A company’s business should go beyond mere profit and account for all the impact that it has on its stakeholders. However, this has not been much of a strategic priority for companies world wide, so how can sustainability be achieved?

 

A new report presents five pathways towards integrating a more sustainable approach into business:

 

  1. Employing business model thinking – using a visual representation of how the company creates value for internal and external stakeholders to identify areas of improvement.

  2. Putting materiality to use - identify and prioritize the most important sustainability issues, the ones related to the core business.

  3. Applying a sustainability lens to products and services – through scorecards, lifecycle analysis and indices, companies can embed sustainability issues into the company’s operations.

  4. Tapping into culture – identifying aspects of organizational culture that could drive sustainability outcomes. The way sustainability finds its place in a company is closely related to the organization’s culture and leadership.

  5. Leveraging transparency – use integrated reporting to reflect the company’s approach to sustainability.  This can bring together cross-functional teams, foster greater understanding about how the company creates value, and spotlight areas ripe for further integration.

 

“How to Integrate Sustainability into Business” report was launched in December 2015, by the SustainAbility think tank. The paper was elaborated based on research and interviews with practitioners and more than 50 companies representatives. The full report can be found at this link.

 

Other resources that Quercus Group is working with and could help companies to be more sustainable include the triple bottom line, creating shared value, cluster development, aiming for social innovations or implementing green growth into business processes. 

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