Friday, 4 January 2013

How Sustainability affects profitability?


One fundamental question that keeps bouncing back, when we start talking about sustainability. ” Is it profitabile?” “What is in for me in terms of Business? Or. How Sustainability affects profitability?” The best solution that I have come so far  is “It is always cheaper to fix a problem in the first place than fix it after the fire.”  This answer sounds awful and straightforward, isn’t it? Yes, the answer is straightforward, that is how I prefer to answer these questions. If one beats round the bush explaining about sustainability, then no real business men would ever be interested in Sustainability. It is all about articulating your position in the way that your audience understands. After one creates some interest in his or her audience, then he/she can discuss the whole idea in detail without killing the other guy with boredom. That is true people get bored if they do not know what they are listening to.
It is always easy to talk about Sustainability with Business Managers who work in Manufacturing sector or Mining sector because they deal with processing units, pollution controls and environmental clearances. Unfortunately, Business managers are implementors and not the decision makers and sustainability initiatives do not work if people at the top do not know the importance of sustainability. To see the real value of Sustainable Change in any organization, we need to have a top-down approach for this initiative. Things get too comfortable, if decisions made at the top are seen through the lens of Sustainability; which helps in driving better economic performance at the bottom line.
Being Sustainable always gives an added advantage to any organization. These advantages can be big or small, but it rightly represents that the organization is truly a leader in health, safety, environment and community. Leadership in all these areas leads to an economic advantage because the organization would have better economic performance through efficient use of resources, fewer problems, better system to identify and deal with risk and also the organization will have a social license to operate. What do all these advantages mean? This advantage means more profits and better acceptance in the society and a preferred company to invest, from the investor’s point of view.
Sustainability initiatives also help a company to evaluate their current performance and establish a baseline for future measurements and improvements; this helps in effective operation with efficient use of resources, less risk and less pollution. Because Sustainable management causes less pollution, it becomes easy for sustainable companies to obtain environmental permits.
I will like to conclude by repeating my statement “It is always cheaper to fix a problem in the first place than fix it after the fire.” Now it is your turn to share your point of view to this question “How Sustainability affects profitability?”

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