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Should Sustainability in Business, be a result of Government policies?

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  • Saturday, 13 July 2013
  • by
  • Rajesh K
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  • Is Sustainability in Business, a result of Government policies? Is it because the Government mandates Corporate Social Responsibility, that companies undertake CSR activities? Shouldn't sustainability be the core principle of every organization? Doesn't unsustainable development affect everyone, including all kind of business activities? These are some tough questions that every business/every company should be asking themselves. 

    Sustainable businesses take into consideration the economic, social as well as environmental indicators, not only for the welfare of general population, but also their own. In business lingo, sustainability is long-term continuance of profits and well-being. Sustainability is an investment, for a better future. 

    It is not without good reason and foresight that 90% of the world's largest 250 companies report their corporate sustainability activities. And many of them get great publicity for CSR initiatives, done right.    

    Have a look at the Top 5 Sustainability concerns for every organization: 
    • Energy usage
    • Recycling
    • Water usage
    • Employee well-being
    • Community development activities
    If you look at all of these concerns more closely, you'll see opportunities to cut recurring costs and hence increase the profitability of the company, on the long run. While doing that, you'll also ensure that you are not placing excessive strain on the natural resources available to us. Especially as these natural resources are getting depleted quickly.

    Considering the topmost concern - energy usage, there are two ways in which a company can reduce energy costs - Increasing the energy efficiency and producing energy through renewable/alternate sources of energy. With the modern technologies at our disposal, it is possible to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) when companies deploy energy efficiency measures or generate their own power through clean/renewable energy technologies. You might very well be surprised at the number!

    In India, sustainability may still be at a nascent stage, but the Government already has policies to encourage the same. But compliance will only get companies so far. Careful imbibing of sustainability principles into every business activity, however, will lead to far higher gains than what companies generally estimate.  

    If the community gains, businesses prosper. 

    Do read these two documents (1, 2) published by Agneya, the renewable energy, carbon and sustainable consultants in India, that explores sustainability in business, further.   
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