The Role of Sustainability in the 21st Century
August 31, 2018
ACC515 Accounting for Managers
The Role of Sustainability in the 21st Century
Business sustainability is managing the triple bottom line – profits, people, and planet. It is a process that helps companies manage their risks in the financial, social and environmental area as well as their obligations and opportunities CITATION Def18 l 1033 (Definition of Business Sustainability, 2018). Another definition refers to business sustainability is best represented as resiliency over time. If businesses can survive the various shocks they have to endure, it is because they are tend to be intimately connected to “healthy economic, social and environmental systems CITATION Def18 l 1033 (Definition of Business Sustainability, 2018),” allowing them to a “create economic value and contribute to healthy ecosystems and strong communities CITATION Def18 l 1033 (Definition of Business Sustainability, 2018).”
Why Sustainability Is Important Today
The World Council for Economic Development (WCED), states that sustainable development is considered development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs CITATION Def18 l 1033 (Definition of Business Sustainability, 2018).” It means, that, for an industrial development to be successfully sustainable, the economic efficiency, the social equity, and the environmental accountability has to be effectively managed at a macro level.
Michael Posner stated in his article, Why It Pays for Businesses to Boost Sustainability, that “Business sustainability is essential to the long-term prosperity of global companies… Leading global companies are therefore developing practical standards and metrics to help apply broader principlesCITATION Mic14
l 1033 (2014).” It is these principles will work towards maximizing their opportunities while working to minimize the potential negative impact the core of the organization’s everyday operation on such important factors like the environment as well as the economy and the community. In the 21st century, this includes a focus on “climate change, corruption, the rule of law, the empowerment of women, human rights, consumption and supply chain practices CITATION Mic14 l 1033 (Posner, 2014).”
The Role of Management in Supporting Sustainability
Management plays a key role in supporting sustainability in an organization. The can start with planning and procedures, followed by work force planning and culture, retention strategies CITATION Gre02 l 1033 (Greenwood, Rosenbeck, ; Scot, 2002).
Planning and Procedures
One of the more critical roles in the day-to-day operations of a fully sustainable business, is planning and procedures. It is about setting up the goals and strategies, usually by the senior procedures are clear and concise. This will usually entail that the employees receive all the information, mentoring or training that they are in need to make sure that every employee “understands what is expected of them.”
Workforce Planning and Culture
A part of workforce planning and culture is ensuring the people hired for the position is the right fit for the company. They need to be available to be there when and where the company needs them most. Having the right skills to be able to take care of the sustainability steps to success, not only does the organization become more successful, but also but helps the employees become more successful. This requires the organization needs to make sure they do not analyze the roles, employees, and whatever the employee’s lowest and the employee’s personal growth CITATION Gre02 l 1033 (Greenwood, Rosenbeck, ; Scot, 2002). `Also, by managing the workplace culture, the organization can work out a plant to encourage the employees to work together in order to Managing your workplace culture can encourage your team to work together to achieve your sustainability and business goals CITATION Gre02 l 1033 (Greenwood, Rosenbeck, ; Scot, 2002).
Trying to maintain a good level of sustainability does no good if the staff retention is not kept at a minimum. If the company has a high turnover rate, then they will have to spend more time and money trying to train them to company standard and it makes it harder to recruit once the company gains a bad reputation for not being able to fill open positions CITATION Gre02 l 1033 (Greenwood, Rosenbeck, ; Scot, 2002).
The Effect of Sustainability on the 21st Century
Tamara Bekefi and Marc Epstein state in their article, 21st Century Sustainability, what works for today’s organization with relation to sustainability, will not work for tomorrow’s organizations CITATION Bek16
l 1033 (2016). Most of that is due to new technologies that crop up, changing how we live our day-to-day lives, both at home and at work. “Remote virtual teams are keeping tens of thousands of workers out of office buildings and commuter traffic, which translates into changes in the size and environmental impacts of office buildings and commuter traffic. E-commerce makes it unnecessary to drive to stores for our goods CITATION Bek16 l 1033 (Bekefi & Epstein, 2016).” Due to this, the 21st century sustainability organization should include monitoring metrics, project planning, and measurement when it involves decision making internally. With regards to reporting externally, reports should be aimed at the variety of difference stakeholders; paying strict attention to investors who want data for corporate valuations CITATION Bek16 l 1033 (Bekefi ; Epstein, 2016). The company must also adapt to how fast the internet is getting and make sure that investors get feedback swifter than in the past when investors required less reporting.
Sustainability is the overall process companies use to manage their financial, social and environmental risks while also monitoring what their obligations and opportunities are. It is the organization’s responsibility to maintain the best levels of sustainability to meet with the 21st century’s growing and changing demands. Without a strong workforce, however, everything would potentially fall apart and the company would lose so much more in training new staff and building the standards up to where they should be.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bekefi , A., ; Epstein, M. J. (2016, Novemner 1). 21ST Century Sustainability. Retrieved from Stategic Finance: http://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/november-2016-21st-century-sustainability/
Definition of Business Sustainability. (2018). Retrieved from Financial Times: http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=business-sustainability
Greenwood, L., Rosenbeck, J., ; Scot, J. (2002). The Role of the Environmental Manager in Advancing Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility in the Organization. Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 2, Article 5.
Posner, M. H. (2014, September 5). Why It Pays for Businesses to Boost Sustainability. Retrieved from GE Reports: https://www.ge.com/reports/post/96692402429/why-it-pays-for-businesses-to-boost-sustainability/