Governments, whether democratic or dictatorship, have a responsibility to serve their citizens, formulate policies and make decisions aimed at improving the present and future state of its citizens. Corporate establishments are no exception. Consequently, the concept of corporate sustainability is now with us.
Corporate sustainability is a new approach to management that establishes long-term consumer, employee and share holders’ value. This is achieved by creating a sustainable strategy that embraces opportunities and manages risks and challenges associated with social, economic and environmental development. Furthermore, corporate sustainability is a paradigm shift from the conservative traditional approach to cooperate governance that focused solely on profit maximization model. While, Corporate Sustainability acknowledges the importance of profits and corporate growth, it also compels businesses to invest in social goals. As a result, pollution by industries, tax evasion will be things of the past.
Sustainability related concepts have been a matter of debate for some time. From renewable energy options, an attempt to get rid of carbon footprint to Iraq nuclear talks, are just but illustrations. Corporate governance must not overlook these developments. In fact, they have a measurable impact on companies. Availability of resources for the future, population changes, political good will, climate change, all these have led to changes in societal expectations. With such challenges, only companies with a clearly stipulated strategy on how to tap opportunities and handle the challenges derived from environmental, social political and economic development will be able to thrive, protect its place in business and secure its shareholders’ value. Others will be ripped off.
While developing a company’s corporate sustainability strategy and management approach, ensure the following pillars are adequately represented.
As companies seek to thrive and make optimal profits, they should not disregard or rather fail to realize the implications of their activities to the society. For this reason, as companies respond to economic growth and their corporate expansion, they must not do this at the expense of environmental protection and social equity.
Accountability can be either legal or ethical. Whichever you choose, you must be able to justify your deeds and actions regarding your mandate as a company. Companies’ corporate management should build trust and be honest with their shareholders. Here, the contractual agreements can be vital in establishing a trustworthy relationship and a model for raising and questioning accountability.
This pillar covers the role of business in the society. Corporate managers have a moral obligation to consider the needs of the society rather than solely conform to the desires of shareholders. Nicholas Ebserstadt, traced the conceptualization of corporate social responsibility to the Greece people. The debate continued since then until now when corporate managers have accepted this responsibility. The debate now is to what extend should they be involved.
Corporate management should strive for a better relationship with its shareholders. With their backing, managers will be able to run the organization to its goals while making sustainable profits on the way.
Though corporate sustainability has taken a central position in corporate management, not all companies have complied with this noble move. However, with persistent calls to protect the environment, promote social justice and a wholesome approach to growth, more companies are expected join the platform. Finally, with our resource- constrained nations, it is upon us to employ corporate sustainability that will ensure our present needs are meet while those for the future are not compromised.
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