Corporate sustainability can be viewed as a new and evolving corporate management paradigm. It is an approach aiming to create long-term stakeholder value through the implementation of a business strategy that focuses on the ethical, social, environmental, cultural, and economic dimensions of doing business. It is imperative for business today, essential to long-term corporate success and for ensuring that markets deliver value across society. The strategies created are intended to foster longevity, transparency, and proper employee development within business organizations.
Sustainability encourages people, politics, and businesses to make decisions based on the long term. Corporate sustainability is often confused with corporate social responsibility (CSR), though the two are not the same. Bansal and DesJardine (2014) state that the notion of ‘time’ discriminates sustainability from CSR and other similar concepts. Whereas ethics, morality, and norms permeate CSR, sustainability only obliges businesses to make intertemporal trade-offs to safeguard intergenerational equity. Short-termism is the bane of sustainability. Business sustainability is essential to the long-term prosperity of global companies.
Achieving corporate sustainability: It has three main pillars: economic, environmental, and social. These three pillars are informally referred to as people, planet and profits.
This concept proposes that by having an engaging environment within a company and within the community it operates will improve performance and increase profits. It’s about consciously working with the understanding of our social and environmental impact. This can be attained through open communications with stakeholders characterized by high levels of information disclosure, clarity, and accuracy.
- Stakeholder engagement
This is attained when a company educates its employees and outside stakeholders (customers, suppliers, and the entire community) and move them to act on matters such as waste reduction or energy efficiency. As more and more companies seek to implement sustainable business practices, the importance of understanding corporate sustainability will significantly increase.
- Thinking ahead
Envisioning the future enables companies to generate fresh ideas for implementation. These ideas can either reduce production costs, increase profits, or provide a better image for the organization. Sustainable companies also are promoting greater economic participation of women, and combating corruption by embedding the rule of law principles in their operations and initiatives.