Think Sustainability: Changing Business Perspectives

by Nancy Mancilla, ISOS Co-Founder

For the past few years, the term “sustainability” has become one of those buzz words that is hard to ignore. But where did it come from? Physical borders quickly disbanded with globalization and many have found it increasingly difficult to maintain reputations in an age characterized by rapid transfer of goods, services, and information.

Human rights watch groups, environmental advocates and other organizations have further stimulated a heightened awareness via the internet, which has driven a growing demand for accountability. Alarming signals quickly caught the attention of the international community who felt that cooperative action to safeguard human and natural capital of the world should be taken. In 1992 at the Rio Conference all countries, including Romania, agreed unanimously that there was an urgent need to adopt Agenda 21.

The aim was to reconcile two objectives of mankind: the need to continue social and economic development, while also improving the state of our environment as the only way to secure the well being of current and future generations.


What does this mean for your company?

In recent years, large multi-national corporations have engaged in philanthropic activities, implemented innovative technologies to reduce their carbon impact, created better work environments for their employees, redesigned products for the eco-conscious, and published reports of their “do-gooder” efforts. But let’s face it, corporations were created and managed for economic reasons, not to throw away money for the purpose of doing “good”.

However, amidst a global economic crisis overshadowed by climate change, we are now faced with additional challenges that disrupt business as we know it. It is even more important than ever before, to re-think the way business is conducted.

Companies are not only finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat, but they must also adjust to new environmental and social factors as enforced by law, demanded by consumers, and encouraged by shareholders. The truth of the matter is, present challenges should be transformed into opportunities for accelerating economic growth while minimizing social and environmental risks.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to large multi-nationals, but it affects all of us. Implementing “sustainability” can be a source of competitive advantage offering avenues for lowering risk, associated costs, improving brand reputation, attracting and retaining high-quality employees as well as growing market share and revenues. The business case for sustainability can be found by looking through social and environmental lenses. It’s no longer just economics that make sense.


The new cost of business

In a competing situation, there are winners and losers, and those who are winning today may be losing tomorrow.

We all know that the best business deals are generally consummated with a win-win mindset. The sustainability initiative can be described as the ultimate win-win initiative.

The new environmental and social standards developed locally and globally have turned sustainability into a “cost of entry” for businesses. Furthermore, market data shows that forward thinking companies that have managed to implement sustainable practices into their operations have out-performed those who have failed to do so during this economic downturn.

Here are a few reasons for that:
• Shareholders are more likely to remain committed to a company they feel is taking action to ensure long-term viability,
• New socially responsible investments and stock indexes result in financial incentives for companies who meet their requirements to be listed as a sustainable company and
• Educated consumers want to feel good about where they spend their money.


Why take action now?

Rather than freezing activities and waiting to see how markets pull out of the global recession, time could be best spent re-evaluating business practices and designing strategies that are in line with national and international objectives. Those who wait for the rules to be put into place after markets recover will naturally be caught in a scramble to catch on and could very well lose out to other well-prepared competitors.

Sustainability is an acknowledgement that amid environmental, social and even economic uncertainty, an organization must adapt to remain viable for the long-term interest of the stakeholders. In other words, companies and other entities need to design their corporate strategies, policies, goals and initiatives based on drivers of economic, social and environmental risk. All it takes is a shift in mindset; from a single-bottom line perspective to a more comprehensive triple-bottom line. 

As a new member of the European Union, Romania will increasingly be required to adapt to sustainability-driven principles and directives, which are to be enforced by national legislation. Advice Human Resources understands the importance of preparing their clients for this new business environment, especially during a recession. Providing guidance to clients is crucial since sustainability is a process rather than a destination.

In order to provide better service to clients in Romania, Advice Human Resources has partnered with ISOSGroup Global, SRL to conduct trainings related to implementing sustainability and managing environmental impacts. ISOSGroup Global is a sustainability driven company offering flexible, out of the box solutions to help you improve your environmental and sustainability performance.


To learn how you can get started down the path to sustainability, please refer to:
http://www.advice-hr.ro/content/sustainability-open-training-events.htm

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Commercial Director, Mattresses & Pillows
9/5/2017 - World-class producer of cellular foams and industrial polymers. The group was formed over 60 years ago as British Vita and now operates internationally supplying a vast range of materials for applications including transportation, general industry, construction, furniture & bedding and packaging.
Technical Manager
5/8/17 - one of the largest multinational companies active in the Romanian medical sector.

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