Sustainability is one of the most crucial topics in today’s business environment due to the increasing impact of business operation on environmental health. Suitability is the process that business adopts to keep the environment safe ad protected for others and for themselves by following certain guidelines. For availing sustainability in the business environment, it is important that it goes through various phases and approach it systematically. Sustainability approach of the business comes under as corporate social responsibility of the business. The journal discusses a self-reflection about my learning of sustainability approach by businesses. Various models and examples have been shown that the business used to meet its sustainability approaches.
Triple Bottom Line and Sustainability
The course lesson that I have attended, discussed various approaches and initiatives that the company uses to attain sustainability in the business. The course discussed various models such as the triple bottom line; capital that business owns and phases a business uses while approaching sustainability (Milne, & Gray, 2013). From the course, I learnt that triple bottom line is one of the most important models one can use for sustainability as it covers three bottom lines such as social, environmental and financial. It is a model that organization uses to achieve business value and increase social cost benefit. I realized that triple bottom line is an ideal model for social enterprises, as well that does not focuses on monetary profit. Thus, triple bottom line is said to be an ideal model for measuring sustainability (Govindan, Khodaverdi & Jafarian, 2013). The model helps the organization to measure their sustainability initiatives by analyzing the impact of business activities on the world. The impact can be monetary such as profit or non-monetary such as social impacts.
Six Forms of Capital used by business
The next important thing that I learnt from the sustainability course is about the crucial capitals of the business that it uses for all its activities. These capitals are used by the business to attain suitability and corporate social responsibility by engaging itself in activities that are socially beneficial (Robb & Robinson, 2014). I was taught in class that the most crucial capital for business is internal economic capital, external economic capital, natural capital, natural capital and social capital. The internal and external financial capital that a company owns helps them to take up sustainable approaches and initiatives by taking up new business models. Natural capital on the other hand helps the business to realize their corporate social responsibility in conserving the natural resources and ecosystem. Social capital is a group or team that work together to achieve the sustainable approach that the company wants to take up (Inc, 2017). However, it has been taught to me that with the emerging corporate sustainability, it has become important for the organization to quantify these capitals just like it quantify the financial capital of the company.
Six phases to approach to sustainability
Lastly, the course also taught me the phases that a company goes through while approaching to sustainability. These phases are crucial for the business as it helps them to attain sustainability effectively. The six phases of approaching to sustainability are rejection, non-responsiveness, compliance, efficiency, strategic proactivity and sustaining corporation. Each phase has its own role in the role that business carry out to meet its corporate social responsibility (Benn, Dunphy & Griffiths, 2014). The first phase is rejection in which the organization rejects the activity of the organization that can reduce the negative impact on the environment. Non-responsive phase arises when the company ignores their responsibility for sustainability in the business environment. Compliance is the third phase in which the company finally realizes their responsibility towards the environment and try to reduce the risk that leads to failure of realizing sustainability. In the efficiency phase the managers finally realize the importance o incorporating sustainability, which is followed by strategic proactivity. In this phase, the company strategizes their activities in a way to become market leader on sustainability. Finally sustaining corporation arises from these phases that internalize sustainability in each of its activities (Waligo, Clarke & Hawkins, 2013). I learnt about the importance of all these phases in the course material that focused mainly on sustainability.
According to me, examples of business that took up sustainability in their daily operations and activities are Wal-mart, PepsiCo, Unilever and others. Wal-Mart has recently taken sustainability approach by initiating green supply chain. It is a model design for the buyers as they expect sustainability in their buying goals. The big retail giants realized their sustainable responsibility and introduced this approach in their operation. Another example is PepsiCo, which took sustainability in their data maintenance activity (Harvard Business Review, 2017). The company can easily maintain big data after the approach. Other example of businesses that took up or should initiate sustainability is chemical industries, food and beverage industry and others, as they have the maximum impact on the environment due to their operations (Neugebauer, Figge & Hahn, 2016). This is because, the operation of a chemical industry has a lot of impact on the environment due to the harmful raw materials it uses.
From the above analysis, I can conclude that sustainability is crucial for business; however, it involves a lot of initiatives and steps to be followed. I learnt a lot about the ways by which a company can take up sustainability approach in their business. The models such as triple bottom line and the phases that company come across before initiating sustainability in their operation will have various benefit for me in future. It will help me in formulating a business idea in which I can become a sustainability leader. The triple bottom line model wll help me realize the usage of various capitals in achieving sustainability in the business environment and compete with the other companies operating in the same business. It was a great opportunity for me to learn about important capital that business uses in its productive activities. Moreover, I can also learn to implement various sustainability tools on various operation sectors by looking at the past initiatives taken by big companies on the same ground. Thus, the course that I took on sustainability has helped me learn many things, which will not only help me getting marks in my course; it will also help me in implementing my own business idea in future.
Benn, S., Dunphy, D., & Griffiths, A. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.
Govindan, K., Khodaverdi, R., & Jafarian, A. (2013). A fuzzy multi criteria approach for measuring sustainability performance of a supplier based on triple bottom line approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 47, 345-354.
Harvard Business Review. (2017). Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2017, from https://hbr.org/2012/12/top-10-sustainable-business-st
Inc.com. (2017). The 6 Kinds of Capital Your Business Can't Survive Without. Retrieved 5 December 2017, from https://www.inc.com/maureen-kline/the-6-kinds-of-capital-your-business-can-t-survive-without.html
Milne, M. J., & Gray, R. (2013). W (h) ither ecology? The triple bottom line, the global reporting initiative, and corporate sustainability reporting. Journal of business ethics, 118(1), 13-29.
Neugebauer, F., Figge, F., & Hahn, T. (2016). Planned or emergent strategy making? Exploring the formation of corporate sustainability strategies. Business strategy and the environment, 25(5), 323-336.
Robb, A. M., & Robinson, D. T. (2014). The capital structure decisions of new firms. The Review of Financial Studies, 27(1), 153-179.
Waligo, V. M., Clarke, J., & Hawkins, R. (2013). Implementing sustainable tourism: A multi-stakeholder involvement management framework. Tourism management, 36, 342-353.