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Guiding principles

What is 'sustainable business'? How should a 'socially responsible' company conduct its affairs? What are the most appropriate indicators of sustainability in the private sector? These are fundamental questions, and ones which an individual business may feel ill-equipped to tackle.

To find answers to such questions, many companies have turned to organizations like CERES, the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, which have drawn up charters, or lists of principles.

As well as signing up to general statements of intention, many businesses have endorsed more specific concepts like 'triple bottom line' accounting and the 'factor four' model of eco-efficiency.

A company may also be seeking accreditation, in order to give its stakeholders hard proof of its commitment to sustainability principles, and not merely bland assurances.

Use the menu on the left to explore:

  • The CERES principles
  • The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Charter
  • The GoodCorporation accreditation scheme
  • Sustainable business practices: IISD's checklist
  • Factor four
  • The triple bottom line
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