Importance of sustainability in business planning

Sustainability and business are not always seen as a good working pair. Businesses often struggle to implement sustainability measures, as they think that it is taking money from shareholders.

Importance of sustainability in business planning

Sustainability planning includes the actions an organization takes to maximize its chances to survive, and perhaps even to thrive, despite the uncertainty of what the future may bring.

This training will provide you with the resources you need to assist you in launching a plan to achieve organizational stability. This training includes several steps that an organization can implement when engaging in a sustainability planning process. The first, Getting Started, includes questions that organizational leadership should answer in order to position the organization for sustainability.

The second, Build your Case for Support, will walk your organization through a process to determine who is most likely to support you and how you can tailor your message to that audience.

The third and fourth, Develop Strategies for Establishing Partnerships and Develop Strategies for Maintaining Partnerships, will assist you in achieving one common goal for forming a sustainable project: The fifth, Develop Strategies for Resource Development, provides a thorough list of resource development options for you to consider.

The Sustainability Planning Questions worksheet will guide you in the planning process. There are a number of questions that should be answered when creating a sustainability plan. Your answers to these questions should serve to guide you throughout the planning process.

To get started with your sustainability plan, download the Sustainability Planning Questions. A consistent message and direction is essential. What is the main purpose of our organization? What is our mission?

What is our vision? Unless your organization can clearly articulate its purpose, you may struggle to stay on point. Consistency in messaging and direction is essential.

Remain aware of community needs to maximize impact. How well does our mission align with those needs? Define your purpose to maximize effectiveness. What are we trying to accomplish by maintaining our programs or services? An examination of the purpose for the programs or services you provide is important for several reasons.

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For one, it can help determine if your organization is making the most effective use of its available resources by asking how else those goals might be accomplished. Also, focusing on your goals can assist in taking an outcome-oriented approach to providing services; having concrete results to show to prospective donors is especially important given the shrinking pool of resources available to nonprofit organizations.

importance of sustainability in business planning

Assess supply and demand to identify gaps in services. Do we fill a gap in services? Too much supply leads to a lower return on investment. If your "market" is becoming inundated with supply, this task becomes increasingly difficult, and you may need to reassess the service you provide.

How do we see ourselves, our role, and our relationship to the community we serve?

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A good understanding of where your organization stands and its relationship to the communities you serve can assist you in activities such as engaging volunteers and can improve your general interactions with the community.

The more you can paint a clear picture of how you see your organization serving the local communities, the better able you will be to attract the interest of volunteers and donors alike. Create a value statement that clearly aligns your mission and vision with the interests and needs of nearby communities.

Assess staffing needs to ensure adequate support.To better analyze and compare the sustainability related performance of companies, Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media, research and financial products company, compiles an annual list of the most sustainable companies.

Among the top are managing corporate reputation, capturing sustainability trends in the business portfolio, and committing R&D resources to sustainable products; across industries, the relative importance of each effort varies (Exhibit 6). Therefore, Sustainability graduates will go into many fields but most commonly civic planning, environmental consultancy (built and natural environment), agriculture, not for profit, corporate strategies, health assessment and planning, and even into law and decision making.

Therefore, Sustainability graduates will go into many fields but most commonly civic planning, environmental consultancy (built and natural environment), agriculture, not for profit, corporate strategies, health assessment and planning, and even into law and decision making.

“Perhaps most important, however, is an underlying commitment to multi-stakeholder engagement as a foundational pillar to any credible CSR program,” says Jason Potts, a senior associate with IISD’s sustainable markets and responsible trade initiative.

In the report Advancing Sustainability: HR's Role by the Society for Human Resource Management, companies with sustainability programs report 55% better employee morale, 43% more efficient business processes and 38% improved employee loyalty.

The business of sustainability: McKinsey Global Survey results | McKinsey