Loading

Module 1: Introduction à la viabilité de l'entreprise

Notes d'étude
Study Reminders
Support
Text Version

Définition de la durabilité

Set your study reminders

We will email you at these times to remind you to study.
  • Monday

    -

    7am

    +

    Tuesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Wednesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Thursday

    -

    7am

    +

    Friday

    -

    7am

    +

    Saturday

    -

    7am

    +

    Sunday

    -

    7am

    +

Defining Sustainability

Introduction to Sustainable Business

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[1]

It contains within it two key concepts which you can read by clicking on the buttons below.

Concept A
The concept of “needs,” in particular, the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given.

Concept B
The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.


The goals of economic and social development must be defined in terms of sustainability in all countries—developed or developing, market-oriented or centrally planned. Interpretations will vary, but they must share certain general features and must flow from a consensus on the basic concept of sustainable development and on a broad strategic framework for achieving it. Development involves a progressive transformation of economy and society.[2]






Defining Sustainability

What is a Sustainable Business?

To understand this definition in terms of business, we will define sustainable business as one that operates in the interest of all current and future stakeholders in a manner that ensures the long-term health and survival of the business and its associated economic, social, and environmental systems.


Thus a sustainable business is concerned about the current and future social, environmental, and economic impacts associated with its operations. Ideally, the sustainable business seeks to have a positive social impact, a reduced negative environmental impact, and a positive economic impact.


Defining Sustainability

What Does It Mean to Be Green?

Green is a term widely used to describe buildings, products (of all types, including cars, food, computers, etc.), and services designed, manufactured, or constructed with minimal negative impact on the environment and with an emphasis on conservation of resources, energy efficiency, and product safety. Being “green” can help to preserve and sustain society’s resources.





Defining Sustainability

Going Green
The business that focuses exclusively on reduced negative environmental impact is referred to as a green business, or a business that is “going green.”


Popularity of Sustainability
Sustainable (and green) business became mainstream practically overnight; sustainability has transitioned from hippie to hip. This growth in interest in sustainable business practices stems from changing societal expectations and a growing awareness that sustainability creates a win-win situation for the business and humanity alike.

Systems Thinking
The company that seeks to be a sustainable business should understand that sustainability is a company-wide goal that incorporates every aspect of the business and its relationships. In other words, sustainability requires systems thinking. Systems thinking is the awareness and understanding that everything is related in some way and that nothing exists in isolation. Every person, every department, every business, every industry, and every society are interrelated and connected in some way. Therefore, it is understood that each part of the business has a contribution to make in helping the company become a sustainable business.



Sustainability Benefits
Businesses practicing sustainability improve their image and reputation, reduce costs, and help boost the local economy, all of which lead to improved business and stronger and healthier local communities for operations. Furthermore, these benefits set one company apart from its competitors and can become a source of competitive advantage.


Sustainable Management Strategy

A focus on sustainability (for private businesses) can be thought of as a management strategy that helps businesses set goals and prioritize resource allocations. Sustainability at the private business level can first be thought of primarily in terms of financial sustainability-that is, the ability of private firms to generate profits and cash flow to sustain business operations. For-profit businesses-first and foremost-must focus on their economic bottom line.



Defining Sustainability

Profit
A company that earns a profit is providing a good or service that is valued by society. Consumers and businesses do not pay for products and services that do not provide them with value or benefits above the cost of the product or service to them (or else they would not have made the free decision to purchase that product or service). Therefore, at a basic level, if a business is profitable, it is having a net positive social impact. This is assuming that the business has no external impact on the environment or society.

Negative Impact

However, there are companies that are profitable in the short term that are having a long-term net negative impact.
By depleting the resource base of the company, short-term gain can lead to long-term financial failure for the company. This example highlights the need for sustainable thinking in business. For business to be sustainable in a financial sense, businesses must increasingly consider the longer term and broader consequences of decisions.

Lumber Company
A lumber company that owns timber reserves could harvest all of its timber resources in one year generating a significant profit for that one year. However, if in doing this the company ignored the costs and losses associated with destroying the forest and the ability of the forest to continue to produce timber, then the net impact could be negative.

Bibliography

[1] Brundtland, G. H. (Ed.). (1987). Our common future: The World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[2] Brundtland, G. H. (Ed.). (1987). Our common future: The World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




Defining Sustainability

Untitled Slide
End of Unit:
Click Next to proceed to next Unit.