Sustainability: A Strategic and Tactical Approach to Succeed in the Interdependent World.
The awareness of “Green” or “Sustainability” issues has led to a fundamental shift in addressing environmental and social issues.
Businesses are responding to this shift not only for environmental and social reasons but also for a very good economic reason: customers are demanding the shift. According to a “Big 4” consulting company, a survey shows that Green is becoming a “tiebreaker” in shopping decisions.
At the surface level, Green means environmentally friendly, i.e. placing less burden on our declining natural resources. It is often a “less bad”activity, whereby fewer toxins are released, less energy is consumed,and/or waste is reduced. Certainly, Green is good for increasing sales,attracting investors, and placating regulators. However, many Green activities are low-hanging fruit, easily copied by competitors and commoditized by the market.
The thrust to become Green may overlook social issues that can smear brands and cut earnings. Imagine opening the newspaper one day and learning that your organic cotton clothing was stitched together by a 12- year-old girl in a sweatshop in a remote village of Sri Lanka.
Therefore, Sustainability is far more encompassing than Green. Green initiatives are a subset of a Sustainability program.
This paper includes a definition of Sustainability and its benefits, followed by what it means for business strategy and a very holistic approach to achieve Sustainability.
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