Because of societal concerns, we tend to think of environmental aspects when discussing sustainability, but at its core, sustainability is about the ability to maintain something. Businesses have to consider multiple factors when making decisions, but the goal of any business should be to increase its sustainability, which necessitates the integration of social and environmental concerns. Failing to do so puts a firm’s Social License to Operate at risk. Taking such concerns into account in a firm’s decision making opens the door to advantages and new opportunities.
Adam Werbach’s definition of sustainability is a great place to start:
It is to protect the environment. It needs to care about cultures. It needs to have social responsibility. And it has to have economic sustainability. All four together– social, cultural, environmental, and economic– need to work together to form a sustainability initiative.
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