Creating pathways for a sustainable and positive change in organisations

Creating pathways for a sustainable and positive change in organisations

Posted Oct 7th, 2015 by Expedite | 0 comments

Sustainable management


“Forward thinking companies that adapt positively to the sustainable business agenda will be at the forefront of resource productivity, reducing waste and of environmental reporting. They and their management teams make things happen ahead of their competitors.”

-       Michael Hugh Meacher, a British Labour politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 1970.

In times when everything is going ‘green’, enabling sharp-eyed eco-entrepreneurs to reap rewards, ‘sustainability’ means more than mere window-dressing. Sustainability is about incorporating social, economic and environmental factors into business decisions – helping organisations gain a competitive edge and increase their market share. Sustainable management includes concepts such as corporate social responsibility and business ethics organisations that work on increasing its positive influence on society, by reducing its negative impact, are termed ‘socially responsible. Currently, the focus of every organisation has been placed on the importance of environmental sustainability. The environment is an increasingly important aspect of any modern business management. But most business leaders argue that sustainability is bigger than expressing a heartfelt nod to saving the planet or creating a green product line.    

Why sustainability means more than ‘green’?

Until the 1980s, the word ‘sustainability’ was used by business leaders to mean a company’s ability to increase its profits steadily. In 1987, the term became widely used after Norway’s former Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, was quoted in a UN report. He defined sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable business means a business that can thrive in the long term. True sustainability has four equal components in business development: Social – working on issues that affect all of us:  poverty, injustice, education, public, heath, labour and human rights. Economic – helping people and businesses meet their economic needs, which include securing food, water and shelter. Environment – protect and restore the earth by controlling climate change, preserving natural resources and preventing wastage. Culture – protect and value diversity, where communities nurture traditions across generations.  

Sustainability and good business

Walmart aims to be wholly supplied by renewable energy in the future. The world’s largest company sees no conflict between sustainability and good business. The company stands to save hundreds of millions of dollars a year thanks to its sustainability efforts. “There can be what is known as a double and sometimes triple bottom line: it’s good for business, it’s good for our stakeholders and it’s good for society and that’s the prism through which we make these decisions,” said Dan Barlett, Walmart’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications. Triple bottom line – the term was coined by John Elkington in 1994, Founding Partner and Executive Chairman of Volans in the UK. Triple Bottom Line is also known as the ‘three pillars of sustainability’, which is divided into three Ps: people, planet and profit. Many organisations have adopted this approach to gauge their performance in a broader context.  

The power of positive thinking in business

In the real world, ‘positive thinking’ is rarely considered to be just as important as terms that include ‘work ethics’ and ‘persistence’. But those views may be changing. Today, having a positive attitude is about much more than just being happy. It is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain and work positively to reach new goals in life or the workplace. Research studies report that optimistic people enjoy better physical health and higher income. The importance of positive attitude in business:
  • Positive thinking has been proven to help problem solving.
  • Positive thinkers are more energetic, calm and relaxed.
  • Positivity builds resilience.
  • Positive thinking improves decision making.
  • Positivity is infectious.
Work attitude, work behaviour and personal habits are often affected by a person’s attitude. But the attitude needs to be based on an internal belief system; a desire to be a good employee, better, and then the best. But if a business owner may say: “I’m just going to think positively about our revenue for the second half of the year”, this is positive thinking without positive action. Only when you combine positive thinking with positive action, is your business more likely to get positive results.            

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