The government has recently announced they have decided to take the bull by the horns.
Will we see a less glitzy but more assured and consistent stride towards corporate sustainability, much like in one with the pulse of mother nature?
It is exciting to see that with the government leading, there is now more urgency for the integration of a sustainable strategy into firms, changing from an utopic glitzy idea, a Bohemian Rhapsody, to an awakening reality, alongside with mother nature’s heartbeat.
Companies in time, will have to be receptive to improving their business practices in social and environmental aspects, awaken to the fact that there is a strong interdependence between both factors and the economic yield. Economic performance is one of the aspects that motivates companies to begin the first step. Integration of a sustainable strategy rely on accurate and reliable measurement of impact linking such ESG impact to financials. The tangible financial returns camouflaged the more important intangible returns to our future generations.
Many listed companies, due to compliance requirements, have some sort of social or environmental sustainability program in place. A lot of companies especially SMEs have yet to develop a “business case” for sustainability.
To develop a business case for social and environmental sustainability, firms need to understand the benefits that sustainable practices can bring to their bottomline. Some of these benefits include increased or retained sales due to the positive reputation of the company, cost savings due to reduced material wastes, and overall employee satisfaction and retention (Googins, Mirvis, and Rochlin, 2007, p. 33). Despite many research outcomes have shown proven benefits of corporate social responsibility programs, many executives still face objection to developing a business case for sustainability.
Three main challenges include “1. Developing forecasting that goes beyond a typical one- to five- year time frame… 2. Understanding and measuring the overall effects of their efforts… [and] 3. Being able to plan in an area of uncertainty,” (Farver, 2013 p. 43). Companies that develop strong business cases for sustainability find ways to overcome these three main challenges and integrate social and environmental sustainability into everything they do. These challenges and objections, are now better addressed with the government support especially in the area of uncertainty. We can now be more certain that for one to continue to do business with the government agencies, sustainability may soon be a parameter.
Author: Jasmine Lee