Sustainable Development for Business

What is sustainable development?

The concept of sustainable business development has been recognised increasingly since the early 80's. Unfortunately, it remains mainly financially and commercially focused. This always has and always will remain a well-accepted business principle. My personal view is that this encompasses the so-called "financial capital", one of 5 categories of "capital" which makes up the DNA of true sustainability.

The five categories of capital

  1. Human-constructed
  2. Social constructed
  3. Man-made (Material/Constructed) capital
  4. Natural Capital
  5. Financial Capital

If sustainable development is to achieve its potential, all seven capitals must be integrated into the strategies of business enterprises.


Why prioritise sustainable development as a business?

For the business enterprise, sustainable development means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders, while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future.

This definition of sustainable development captures the spirit of the concept as originally proposed by the World Commission on Environment and Development, and recognises that economic development must meet the needs of a business enterprise and its stakeholders. The latter includes shareholders, creditors, debtors, customers, supplier's employees (internal) and the communities, who are affected by the organisation's activities.

The maintenance of the health of the physical, natural, resources (ecosystems) within which any business is functioning is paramount to the success of the business, and this aspect is in many ways still not fully understood and addressed.

How to make your business more sustainable

Without compromising on profits, there are many ways to make your business enterprise more sustainably profitable. By thinking about the future, you can base your decisions in the present on the best course for the environment as well as your business profits, employees and the greater society.

Many business enterprises are making sustainability a crucial objective for their business's future. Strategising on implementing sustainable business practices to increase profits, growth and competitiveness by following resourcefulness in manufacturing.

With a future-based mindset, you need to consider profits, employees and the environment when making decisions regarding the sustainability of your business. Sustainability is possible for any business and should be a priority for any business in this economy.

Companies striving for sustainability focus on reducing their business' carbon footprint in all sectors through industrial waste reduction, proper waste disposal and innovative manufacturing practices. Strengthen your brand, increase your business' efficiency by reducing costs of waste, increase competitive advantage and reach new customers through environmentally friendly manufacturing. With significant positive benefits, there are many reasons why companies are pursuing sustainability and taking the greener approach.