For businesses, sustainability is more than mere window dressing.
The growing demand for "green" and "sustainable" products has created major new markets in which sharp-eyed entrepreneurs are reaping rewards.
Formerly referred to as "Corporate Social Responsibility," the concept of responsible business is underpinned by the idea that corporations cannot act as isolated economic entities detached from broader society. Traditional views about competitiveness, survival, and profitability are being swept away.
Positive outcomes that can arise when businesses adopt sustainable and responsible practices include:
1. Company benefits:
- Improved financial performance
- Lower operating costs
- Enhanced brand image and reputation
- Increased sales and customer loyalty
- Greater productivity and quality
- Greater ability to attract and retain employees
- Reduced regulatory oversight
- Access to capital
- Workforce diversity
- Product safety and decreased liability.
2. Benefits to the community and the general public:
- Charitable contributions
- Employee volunteer programs
- Corporate involvement in community education, employment, and homelessness programs
- Product safety and quality.
3. Environmental benefits:
- Greater material recyclability
- Better product durability and functionality
- Greater use of renewable resources
- Integration of environmental management tools into business plans, including life-cycle assessment and costing, environmental management standards, and ecolabelling.
Sustainability-Linked Bonds: A new way to finance COVID-19 stimulus
Sustainability-linked bonds can play a vital role for investors seeking to allocate capital toward COVID-19-related relief or recovery measures.
Eight Ways the Private Sector Can Apply the Sustainable Development Goals
Cory Searcy looks at how companies can start implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in their business.
Paying For It: How governments can help the private sector overcome financial barriers to investing in adaptation
Private sector engagement will be essential to the success of the NAP process, whether through direct financing or active participation in adaptation actions. Governments can play a key role in enabling this private sector engagement by promoting a number of enabling factors.
Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
This toolkit aims to help governments develop strategies for the effective engagement of private sector actors in the NAP process.
New Climate Action Toolkit Helps Manitoba Business Leaders Seize Opportunity and Mitigate Risk in a Changing Climate
Winnipeg, March 5, 2020 – A new toolkit launched today by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) offers practical guidance and resources that will help Manitoba’s business community prepare for the effects of climate change.
Sustainable by 2045: Three ways the mining industry can make it happen
On February 29, more than 150 leaders from the minerals industry—from governments, civil society and the private sector—came together to find solutions for sustainable development at the Sustainability Forum.
"Green Lemons" Need to be Squeezed out From the ESG Market
Weak ESG governance and reporting standards are putting a brake on sustainability investments beyond climate mitigation, but several new regulatory initiatives could herald the start of a more positive trend.
Women and the Mine of the Future
Uncovering the gender-disaggregated employment profile for large-scale mining, focusing on women and their occupations in 12 countries.
Global Market Report: Banana prices and sustainability
This report explores market trends in the banana industry and how standards and other supply chain actors can build producers' resilience to sustainability challenges.
Voluntary Sustainability Standards in South Asia
Examines how voluntary sustainability standards can address key sustainability issues and interact with the policy landscape of the region.
Improving Visibility in Cotton Supply Chains to Achieve Transparency
This brief maps the supply chains of actors in the cotton sector in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka for a Sweden-based fashion retailer.
Policy Action Framework: Improving product sustainability information in e-commerce
How can policy-makers take action to improve product sustainability information for consumers using e-commerce platforms?
Global Market Report: Cotton prices and sustainability
Exploring production and consumption trends in the cotton sector and how voluntary sustainability standards can improve social and environmental results.
You might also be interested in
Standards and Value Chains
Voluntary sustainability standards contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and gender equality.
Depending on how trade policy is designed and implemented, it can either advance or be a hindrance to sustainable, low-carbon development.
Government purchasing power should be leveraged towards buying the most sustainable goods, services, and works.