Sustainability Defined

By March 17, 2014Sustainability

Let’s dive deeper into the definition of sustainability.

The official definition comes from the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations Assembly:

“Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

We also like to reference the definition from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index:

“Corporate Sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments.”

Why is sustainability important to organizational success?

We all operate in an increasingly complex and multidimensional economy, but some fundamental drivers of business stay the same. Making business decisions proactively goes a long way to staying ahead of the curve.

1.  ConsumersAccording to a recent Nielsen global survey, consumer sentiment toward socially responsible companies has grown to 50% of consumers (based on 29,000 interviewed). That means that people are shopping with their beliefs and dollars in hand.

2.     The MarketplaceIndustry leaders are implementing large-scale sustainability initiatives and developing deeply memorable brands as a result.  Will your company be a leader or follower?

3.     Government Regulation (EU, US/EPA, etc.): Carbon emissions reporting will only continue to increase at home and internationally. California established AB32, which set the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal into law. 

4.     NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and Civil SocietyThrough marketing campaigns, reports, shareholder resolutions, and partnerships, NGOs are demanding improved corporate citizenship and transparency around key environmental and social issues.

So the real question is, what are the financial benefits? 

Sustainability has been proven to create top- and bottom-line benefits.

Top-line (Revenue generating):

An innovation brand drives innovation, creativity, loyalty (from employees and consumers), and reduces potential/unforeseen risks.

Bottom-line (Money saving):

An efficient organization results in material efficiencies, increased productivity/retention, reduced regulatory burden and cross-collaboration between groups.

Stay in touch next for examples from past Canopy clients.

In the meantime, enjoy life!


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