Ceres Report: Sustainable Biz a Necessity, Not a Nicety
A report issued by Ceres this week sends a message loud and clear to for-profit business:
Start taking sustainability seriously – or else.
As energy prices rise, populations grow and resources become increasingly constrained, the report explains, sustainability strategies are no longer a “nice to do,” but rather a critical business necessity – and a factor in determining success.
“Sustainability performance is fundamental for business success in the 21st century,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, which published the report, The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability. “If businesses deepen their efforts to solve social and environmental threats, it will position them to innovate and compete in the fast-changing, resource-constrained global economy.”
The report provides a roadmap of sorts for integrating sustainability into every aspect of business, focusing on 4 distinct areas: governance, stakeholder engagement, disclosure and performance. It also calls for significant performance improvements from companies by 2020. Among the report’s 20 key expectations for companies:
- Make energy efficiency and renewable energy the foundation for company operations
- Design and implement closed-loop systems so that air and wastewater emissions are eliminated and zero waste is produced
- Dedicate 50 percent of research and development investment to developing sustainability solutions
- Compensate and provide incentives for top executives and other employees to drive sustainability into the business
The good news is that many companies already recognize the challenges outlined in the Ceres report, and are incorporating them into their business planning. Further good news? Given the best practice examples the report includes, along with the clearly-defined roadmap for implementation, companies that are currently lagging behind can quickly and easily become educated, inspired and on their way to greater sustainability.
More information and report downloads can be found at www.ceres.org.