What does it mean to be sustainable?
Sustainability in businesses means catering to these two elements :
1. The effect a business has on the environment
2. The effect it has on society as a whole
Sustainable businesses focus on environmental, social, and economic factors while engaging in business activities. Corporations are aware that short-term profits should not negatively affect their long-term goals. Organizations have their sustainability strategies as they form their business goals and organizational values. For example:
Using renewable sources of energy like wind power to provide power facilities
Funding education loans to youth for higher studies
Reducing plastic use in manufacturing and packaging their products
Investors these days utilize the economic, social, and governance metrics to analyze a company's ethical values and goals. For instance - the company's carbon footprint, water and electricity usage, and its CSR initiatives are some examples that help investors to analyze and take decisions.
With rapidly dwindling natural resources, much more than ever in the history of humanity, sustainability is the only way forward. The need of the hour is to carry out business activities with a genuine concern for the environment. Ignoring sustainability can lead to severe degradation of the environment and cause serious health hazards in the long run.
In 2015, the General assembly came up with sustainability goals to be achieved by 2030 across the nations to live a better life.
Sustainability goals set a benchmark to lead a sustainable life. They guide nations worldwide to face global challenges and ensure that people everywhere enjoy peace and prosperity by ending poverty and protecting the planet.
The Connectivity of Human Development Index and Sustainable Development Index
Living a healthy life, having access to knowledge, and having a good standard of living are the three key measures of the human development index. It focuses on the capabilities of the people of a nation to judge a nation's development rather than economic growth alone. It paid attention to high-income groups but ignored ecological stability.
Then came the sustainability development index, which measured nations' environmental efficiency in delivering human development. It divides the essential components of the HDI by ecological overshoot.
It is given by the SDI or Sustainability Development Index. The sustainability development index (SDI) provided a clear picture of a sustainable nation and noted that higher-income nations are not better than nations with high Human Development Index. Several countries with moderate income levels offer good education and have an increased life expectancy.
Sustainable businesses focus on environmental, social, and economic factors while engaging in business activities.