Corporate Sustainability Part 1: Time to evolve
Executive teams are becoming more informed about 21st century challenges and the implications to their businesses. However, there remains a significant gap in understanding the best method of addressing sustainability without incurring unacceptable and impractical costs, processes and operating disruption. Legacy systems have only shown how inadequate they are, with data inconsistency, gaps and inaccuracy issues leaving executive teams far from comfortable when making operating decisions. Steve Burt, CEO EQi Group, writes in a recent LinkedIn post.
Business sustainability is about maximising resource efficiency – this reduces environmental impacts, supports social wellbeing and improves profitability. For business teams to capitalise on using sustainability to drive business performance they need to understand a range of metrics and facets with the ability to confidently act in order to reduce consumption and make changes that improve efficiency.
The way organisations currently address sustainability needs to be challenged. It is frustrating to see how such an important subject as sustainability has been hijacked by a range of ineffective adopted systems that distort a company’s ability to achieve the next generation of resource efficiency. If executives are to gain meaningful benefit from using sustainability as one of their business drivers they need to be able to apply best practice management to the issue: measure, manage, analyse, change and track.
The business world has been inundated with sustainability voluntary reporting organisations that have driven the agenda through publicity mechanisms. Executive teams have often been strong armed into engagement although most will readily admit they do not fully understand the value apart from a marketing position and not being seen as behind competitors.
This fundamental distraction from resource management efficiency to carbon reduction scoring and offsetting has fuelled executive confusion and doubt about the value of sustainability to their business. This has hindered progress in profit gains and impact reduction.
The fundamentals of business performance should not be based on tick boxes or compliance reporting but on providing a business team with accurate information that can make confident efficiency decisions today, tomorrow and for future planning.
Businesses need to apply the basics of Management: You can only manage what you measure. Executive teams need to review the effectiveness of their systems, challenge the compliance culture about its value to performance and the lost opportunity cost it could be causing.
Sustainability is about embedding efficiency into every day operations; it is about driving economic profitability while remaining in balance with the environment and being socially compatible.
EQi is a data and technology company that connects business to sustainability by providing resource efficiency management solutions. EQi has announced successful certification as a founding UK B Corporation.
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