Why should businesses be concerned with sustainability issues?
In the business context, sustainability refers to the process by which firms manage financial, social and environmental risks and withstand external shocks for an indefinite period. Sustainability is all about business survival. Through sustainability, companies embark on ventures that seek to utilize natural resources in the most prudent way. The fluctuation in the customer demand levels as well as the unpredictability in commodity prices threatens the growth prospects of a business and thus the need for corporations to adopt sustainability strategies.
Why should businesses be concerned with social justice? Is there a danger that businesses may be trying to do too many things other than making profit?
To achieve the millennium goals, companies ought to foster social justice that promotes entrepreneur culture as well as development through knowledge, expertise and resources. Nowadays, many companies have been seen to adopt social justice schemes such as care for the society through job creation, resource mobilization as well as waste collection. Small and medium-sized organizations ought to adopt new business models in creating jobs, promoting innovation as well as enhancing entrepreneurship. While in pursuit of attaining entrepreneur spirit, many organizations seek to maximize profits and it is usually difficult for private organizations to focus on other activities and abandon the profit making not unless it is a charity organizations. Thus the danger of the business diversifying portfolio without pursuing their profit objectives is usually unforeseen.
What area the pros and cons of following the ISO standards be relevant to sustainable business?
In an effort to improve accountability, companies are required to adhere to ISO standards. Adoption of ISO regulations has indeed promoted accountability and transparency as well as achievement of organizational targets. Incorporation of the ISO standards has nevertheless led to increased burden for companies to comply with rules and regulations. According to McCrudden (2007), ISO standards are too complicated for organizations especially the small enterprises due to the presence of too many indicators with regards to a particular metric. This has essentially been the reason for the failed millennium development goals (MDGs).
What role do you thing businesses can play in reaching the MDs.
Even with notable progress towards achieving the millennium development goals, success remains uneven. Bridging the gaps that still exist today requires frantic effort especially by the private enterprises who are indeed the key players in innovation, investment and job creation.
In what way would reporting on sustainability help an organization to improve its sustainability performance?
Measuring and publicly reporting the companys economic, financial and social status in annual reports conveys positive corporate responsibility. Essentially, sustainability reporting aids at improving the financial performance of the enterprise. Companies can use stand-alone sustainability reports and triple bottom line reports in publishing their financial status.
What evidence (if any) in our society do you see of a Third Wave as Toffler has describe?
While studying civilization, Toffler (1980) describes the revolution of history as well as the vast changes and patterns (three waves) that have taken place over time. Despite the fact that the society is still emerging, there have been myriad dynamic transitions over the past two decades with cell phones and internet taking dominance in the globe. Several distinguishing features evident in the new society today include the emergence of various high end technologies such as cloning, global communications network as well as nanotechnology.
What are some of the International guidelines for business sustainability and how can these guidelines be effectively implemented?
Compliance with international guidelines for business sustainability is indeed indispensible in the pursuit of attaining sustainability. International standards for sustainability provides for the inclusion of economic growth, adoption of efficient and effective technology, promotion of welfare of the society and development in the enterprises culture as well as environmental management and responsibility towards the society (Duffy, 2010). Attainment of economic growth requires the adoption of sound policies by organizations while running the affairs of the company.
What are the pitfalls of a government business- community consensus represented by the Rio + 20 Corporate Sustainability forum?
The main aim of holding international conventions such as the Rio+20 corporate sustainability forums is to address the challenges faced by the green economy as well as the creation of an effective institutional framework for sustainable development. With this regards, governments are required to collaborate through public-private partnerships which facilitate public participation and contribution towards sustainable economies. However, most governments have been reluctant in validating this framework. Political influence has hampered attainment of millennium development goals and unless state authorities intervene, business enterprises will stand to fail.
How can organizations change to become more sustainable?
The quest for sustainability in the present world has transformed the business competitive landscape thereby prompting many organizations to redesign their products, technologies, processes as well as business models. Enhancing sustainability requires organizations to embrace compliance regulations as well as ISO standards. Organizations ought to map out sustainability strategies by identifying the challenges, issues, sources as well as opportunities and in the overall, develop new business models. As a step towards sustainability, companies require to adopt a corporate culture that fosters sustainability in the most conducive way.
Duffy, F.M. (2010). Dream! Create! Sustain! Mastering the Art and Science of Transforming School Systems. R&L Education, Plymouth: UK.
McCrudden, C. (2007). Buying Social Justice: Equality, Government Procurement & Legal Change. OUP Oxford Publishers, NY:USA.
Siemens global website. International guidelines. [Online]. Conventions and recommendations recognized worldwide. Accessed on 11 December 2015 from < http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/en/sustainability-at-siemens/international-guidelines.php>.Toffler, A. (1980). Previews & Premises: An Interview with the Author of Future Shock and The Third Wave, Black Rose books.
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