Setting Sustainability Goals: What Does Sustainability Mean

Sustainability essentially refers to adopting practices that helps conserve and preserve natural resources instead of depleting them

  • Release Date: 30 October 2023
  • Update Date: 15 March 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
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Sustainability essentially refers to adopting practices that helps conserve and preserve natural resources instead of depleting them. Since the industrial revolution, businesses have continued to exploit natural resources for their financial benefit. As businesses continue to deplete natural resources, the condition of the planet continues to grow worse.

Global warming and climate change are just some of the issues that future generations will find themselves dealing with. In this global environment, people from across the world have been pushing for corporate sustainability. Essentially, corporate sustainability is an approach to handling business operations in a sustainable manner. Business shareholders, employees and the customers all play a part in ensuring that sustainability goals are met.

What Is Sustainability?

With a growing global concern of the impact that industries have been having on the planet, there is a push towards corporate sustainability. There are three kinds of responsibility that businesses are being asked to adopt:

  • Environmental responsibility
  • Social responsibility
  • Economic responsibility

To improve their environmental sustainability, businesses should try to reduce their carbon footprints. Waste should be discarded carefully and wasteful practices should be avoided. Businesses can improve their social responsibility by implementing practices that benefit not just itself, but also the employees, the consumers and the community. Take for example fast fashion businesses. Not only do they manufacture more clothes than necessary, many of which are also thrown away in landfills, they also underpay workers. Hiring sweatshop workers to make their clothes doesn't benefit their workers in any way.

With consumers moving towards sustainable fashion, the fashion industry has had to change. This is where economic responsibility of businesses comes in as well. This involves being honest and transparent about their accounting practices and their regulatory compliance.

If you're wondering what does sustainability mean, then the answer is simple. It's seen as meeting current needs without depleting resources such that future generations can also access those resources. Businesses, to employ sustainability practices, will need to reduce consumption of resources that are limited. They'll need to find alternatives that have less environmental consequences.

What Are Sustainable Goals?

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The meaning of sustainability is that resources are managed better such that they are not depleted. Sustainability goals are being adopted by businesses due to rising consumer demands. These sustainability goals involve using fewer or alternative resources, reducing negative environmental impact, reducing carbon emissions, and more.

What are sustainable goals can be best explained as a business' strategy to limit negative environmental impacts stemming from their business practices. Here are some examples of sustainability goals:

  • Turning to alternative sources of power as well as carbon accounting
  • Preserving water resources, eliminating waste and reduce GHG emissions
  • Assessing risks and also improving resiliency
  • Adhering to regulations related to sustainability
  • Operating supply chains that are efficient
  • Promoting sustainable consumption

Why Business Sustainability Goals Are Important

Sustainable goal setting is becoming the norm for top businesses. However, transforming a business into one that's sustainable requires businesses to be resilient and agile. They need to inculcate responsible practices that can help preserve the planet. In the modern world, corporate sustainability is slowly becoming the norm. 

It isn't just the consumers that are interested in sustainability. Employees are also looking to work for businesses that are mission-driven and that care about the planet. Consumers are ready to pay higher prices for products that are sustainable. Both employees and consumers prefer working with businesses that are sustainable and responsible.

Governments across the world, as well as investors, are all demanding accountability from businesses. Top economies across the world are developing policies around reducing the environmental impact that their industries have on the world. The ESG investment criteria has also had an impact on business sustainability goals. Responsible investors want to help businesses that are environmentally responsible.

Corporate Sustainability Initiatives That Can Be Adopted

Before setting sustainability goals for businesses, there is a need to understand what impact the business has on the world currently. There are several ways to build a sustainable goals and development initiative.

1. ESG Reporting (Environmental, Social, Governance Reporting)

Businesses need to evaluate what their ESG is and whether they are ESG compliant or not. At the same time, there's also a need to prepare for extreme weather events. To ensure business continuity, businesses will need to prepare for weather events that are becoming more common. Managing climate risk is a part of ESG reporting and businesses should evaluate how the climate can affect operations annually.

2. Building Resilient Infrastructure 

Corporate sustainability initiatives include building infrastructures that are resilient. Businesses need to think about resources management when planning their infrastructure. Businesses should look to optimize their maintenance and repair, improve operations, reduce carbon emissions and responsibly get rid of waste.

3. Sustainable Supply Chains 

Environmental sustainability targets should be set by business to curtail waste and emissions. Businesses should choose to be transparent about their sustainable practices, to let the world know what policies they have in place. Consumers worry about how traceable the products they purchase are. Blockchain solutions may be used to provide greater visibility into the supply chain. This can help build trust among consumers.

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There is a need for businesses to be responsible towards the environment and the community. This can be done by setting sustainable goals. The demand for corporate sustainability is growing by the day, as climate change becomes increasingly apparent. By understanding what corporate sustainability is and how it can help the environment, businesses can make a positive impact on the world. 

To learn more about sustainability goals and how to set sustainable objectives, consider getting in touch with the experts at Speaker Agency. Learn why sustainability is important and how top businesses are defining sustainability objectives.

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