Sparklink Group

Adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future it is important to emphasize that sustainable development cannot be achieved by a single enterprise (or, for that matter, by the entire business community) in isolation. Implications for business It has become a cliché that environmental problems are substantial, and that economic growth contributes to them. A common response is stricter environmental regulation, which often inhibits growth. The result can be a trade-off between a healthy environment on the one hand and healthy growth on the other. As a consequence, opportunities for business may be constrained. However, there are some forms of development that are both environmentally and socially sustainable. There are many benefits in actively involving the board of directors in the development of a sustainable development policy. It is the board of directors that determines overall priorities and sets the tone for management and employees. By itself the board’s commitment will not guarantee that a sustainable development policy will be effectively implemented. However, the absence of that commitment will certainly make it difficult to implement the policy. While statements of broad policy on sustainable development are important, senior management and directors should supplement their policy statement with a series of specific objectives clearly defining accountability is essential to successful implementation. Cultural change and retraining should complement the new goals. Reward systems and incentives reflecting the new corporate values should also be considered. Business planning processes should be modified to reflect the sustainable development priorities. Small business and private company considerations applying the proposed framework will be a challenge for all enterprises, but smaller businesses may encounter additional challenges. Besides, sustainability reporting smaller businesses will have to adapt to the new corporate climate with less in house expertise, fewer resources and less formal management structures than larger corporations.

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