This article is contibuted by Norman Christopher, Executive Director at the Grand Valley State University Sustainable Community Development Initiative.
Most recently, the BSR and Globescan issued a State of Sustainable Business Poll.
The report was generated through a survey among a global network of approximately 300 member companies. The report highlighted that business has made significant progress in sustainable development in the recent past but still faces increasing challenges moving forward.
Sustainability @ the Heart of Business
The integration of sustainability into core business functions is the most important leadership challenge regarding sustainability. In order to achieve fast paced progress in overall business performance, embedding sustainability in core businesses is a primary goal. The primary focus and business management challenge is to incorporate the integration of sustainability across the supply chain through sustainable solutions in order to achieve increased overall value and impact.
Reporting Sustainability's Progress
The evolution of sustainability reporting has seen significant progress in the past and remains a key area of future growth, as companies seek to report improved performance and increased value and impact for their operations and community activities.
The continued building of public trust in companies and businesses remains an ongoing process. Companies are becoming more transparent in their reporting process, providing specific data regarding social and environmental performance, and developing additional innovative sustainable products for the marketplace.
Many global and localized issues face business today. Some are new, most are not.
- Human rights and worker rights are most urgent issues for companies, specifically across supply chain operations.
- Energy management is a top priority for companies as they develop overall carbon reduction strategies. Climate mitigation remains an important business area of focus.
- Water issues are now emerging in the marketplace and it is felt that significant progress will be made in this area in the future.
- The greatest challenges for businesses in the future are in the areas of sustainable consumption and public policy.
Take the time to review the full results from last year's poll, which can be found here.
I wish everyone the best on their sustainability journey in 2013!
Grand Valley State University
BSR works with its global network of nearly 300 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.
www.bsr.org for more information about BSR’s more than 20 years of leadership in sustainability.
For twenty-five years, GlobeScan has helped clients measure and build value-generating relationships with their stakeholders, and to work collaboratively in delivering a sustainable and equitable future. Uniquely placed at the nexus of reputation, brand and sustainability, GlobeScan partners with clients to build trust, drive engagement and inspire innovation within, around and beyond their organizations.