Sustainability has become the need of the hour as it helps in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. The module intends to explain the meaning of sustainability, its history, and current forces for business sustainability. It is determined that there are three pillars of sustainability- social, economic and environmental. Social sustainability ensures that the people are provided with a safe environment. Economic sustainability ensures that the financial, employment and consumption issues are addressed. Environmental sustainability ensures that there is waste management, optimum energy usage and pollution reduction ideas. The main reasons why sustainability must be applied in real-life is that it helps in creating long-term value by taking in consideration every dimension of the above stated pillars. For example, every individual can address the climate change issue which is the most dreading issue in the recent times. The four key principles of corporate governance are transparency, accountability, responsibility and fairness. Not only individually, the corporate companies can inculcate sustainability in their business practices. It is because there shall be increased trust between management and employees. There shall be better life work balance, equity of opportunity and increased respect among the employees. For a real-life example, Starbucks may be reviewed. Starbucks supports farmers and communities by responsibly growing coffee beans. It may be noted that such initiative by Starbucks has helped them lower cost of production, reduction in pest disease, increasing the yield of coffee and benefit to the communities (Starbucks.ca 2018).
The customers, investors, employees, government, suppliers and other various stakeholders have differences in the type of relationship they have with the firm. A firm needs proper engagement with their stakeholders. They have different perceptions that impact the objectives. The importance of a stakeholder can be adjudged on the basis of three attributes namely power, legitimacy and urgency. The business paradigm should be updated as per the requirement of sustainability. Dow Jones Sustainability indices are a group of indices that evaluate these sustainability performances of number of companies. It also possesses industry based indexed. For the application, the firm should try to make sure that it has more of the supportive (positive) stakeholders than the Obstructive (negative) ones. The basic awareness and understanding shall be possessed by the firm on sustainability. Another example for the stakeholder is government in which it plays a vital role as the regulations laid by them affects the firm directly. Therefore, the firm needs to make sure they are in harmony with the government rules and regulations. The basic awareness and understanding shall be possessed by the firm on sustainability. The government need to keep a benchmark for their performances. Their focus should be on sustainability and have the basic idea about what and how to achieve such objectives related to sustainability. The framework includes wide range groups, organisations and government bodies. They need to have social awareness, support the NGOs and ultimately the government support is also needed by the firm for achieving objectives (Harik et al. 2015).
An ethical business has these basic characteristics such as honesty, confidentiality, trust, good value, integrity, strong leadership. Ethical business practice helps in realising the obligations and responsibilities to the stakeholders and supports the ethical goals of the firm. The ethical objectives should be discussed among the employees. The firm should make sure that they educate the employees on a regular basis so as to keep the ethical goals in mind. Good governance means to conduct the public affairs and effectively manage the public resources. The principles include recognition and will to accept the responsibilities, leading the organisation, being transparent, working with integrity and efficiency and many other principles. The firm needs to maintain a set of ethical principles and frame rules and policies that support these principles. The policies should be monitored if they are being followed effectively by scheduling a weekly meeting discussing the achievements and failures. Penalties should be imposed for non-compliance of such policies and standards. Corporate social responsibilities are the organisation’s responsibility towards the social and environmental duties. The organisation can make adequate contribution to the sustainability goals by acknowledging and working on their environmental, social and ethical responsibilities. The key elements of Corporate Social Responsibilities are the creating a CSR management system and framing strategies, internal assessments, documenting the visions and values, embedding CSR into the plans and budgets, educating the stakeholders and specially the employees about the CSR by proper communication and establish accountability and responsibility (Zaharia and Zaharia 2015).
Starbucks.ca, 2018. Supporting Farmers and Communities. [online] Starbucks Coffee Company. Available at: <https://www.starbucks.ca/responsibility/sourcing/farmer-support> [Accessed 4 May 2018].
Harik, R., El Hachem, W., Medini, K. and Bernard, A., 2015. Towards a holistic sustainability index for measuring sustainability of manufacturing companies. International Journal of Production Research, 53(13), pp.4117-4139.
Zaharia, C. and Zaharia, I., 2015. Corporate governance and business ethical values. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 14, p.103.