What is Corporate Sustainability?
Corporate sustainability is an approach involving the creation and implementation of green strategies targeting not only the natural environment but also a business’s social, cultural, and economic environment. The broad term serves as an umbrella for other phrases such as corporate social responsibility or corporate citizenship. While numerous components go into the sustainability of a corporation, a primary factor is the responsibility and duty of the business to comply with obligations to the natural environment.
Corporate Sustainability & Shareholder Value
Corporate sustainability is taking on an increasingly important role in a business’s success. More and more investors and customers are rewarding sustainable organizations with superior sales and shareholder value. Government regulations and incentives are put in place to expedite the overall economy’s move towards sustainability.
The attractiveness of sustainable companies has led to the emergence of numerous investor-led sustainability initiatives, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) involves over 300 large institutional investors around the world that represent over $41 trillion of funds under management. These investors have vowed to investigate the emission strategy of companies which thereby leads to emissions-dependent costs of capital. With initiatives like the CDP, the pressure for corporate sustainability amongst businesses is mounting. The influence of corporate sustainability on consumers is also exeplified in the graph above.
For a case study example, U.S. mega-retailer Wal-Mart can be used. To achieve its overall objective of supplier efficiency, Wal-Mart has begun auditing its suppliers’ carbon footprints and minimizing carbon emissions. Emissions equate to energy usage, which in turn equates to costs. The minimization of these emissions gives Wal-Mart the ability to keep up its signature “roll backs” and provide low retail costs to its customers. In this case, corporate sustainability has enabled a mega-retailer to maintain its position as a superpower in the market.
In the U.S., certain patterns of corporate sustainability are beginning to emerge. Greenhouse gas reporting and reduction efforts have remained consistently strong. Interests in water usage, efficiency, and stewardship have been recorded to be on the rise. Also increasing is stakeholder interest in the sustainable sourcing and availability of resources intrinsic to a company’s operational ability. These trends suggest that corporate sustainability is well-integrated into the universal corporate fabric.
Our Role in Corporate Sustainability
The earth is not ours; it is a treasure we hold in trust for future generations. By achieving corporate sustainability through utilizing renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency, we ensure that the planet’s resources are not compromised for future generations. At Associated Renewable, we understand the global effect of resource consumption and the relationship between economics and environmental management. Our energy-efficient and renewable energy products and services provide sustainable, profitable energy solutions for your company.
Graph from a white paper titled A New Mindset on Corporate Sustainability, 2008 (sponsored by BT and Cisco)