Importance of Sustainability in Organizations

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Never before has sustainability been more important on the corporate agenda. According to Brundtland Commission of the United Nations (1987) sustainability is defined as operating in a way that preserves the long-term quality and productive capacity of both the natural and social environments in which a company operates. For humans, sustainability is defined as the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Sustainability therefore involves: • A broad view of social, environmental and economic outcomes for an organization. • A long-term perspective, concerned with the interests and rights of future generations as well as of people today. • An inclusive approach to action, which recognises the need for all people, including the employees, to be involved in the decisions that affect their lives made by an organization. Sustainability is now rapidly emerging as an important part of corporate business strategy. Until recently, it remained a notion embraced by a few fringe players, notably the big multinational corporations. However, sustainability is now part of mainstream corporate practice.

Implementing sustainability in an organization
The three dimensions that most organizations normally adhere to in an effort to develop a sustainability model are the economic, environmental and social. The organization has responsibilities to its shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and all stakeholders, including the local communities it operates within. Many an organization take sustainability to mean environmental stewardship meaning they address only one of these aspects explained earlier. Each project, process, and decision made by an organization’s management has an economic, environmental and social aspect. Therefore, the three responsibilities are interrelated and must be addressed together. Efforts have been made by researchers to provide a model for a...
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