Miyerkules, Setyembre 15, 2010
Leading A Sustainable Organization by Jolito Ortizo Padilla
The corporate sustainability /social responsibility global intiative is much more than a fad. Corporate sustainability is 21st century leadership's competitive edge for the future. By operating better and more efficiently, organizations are increasing sales, reducing operating costs , and enhancing their brand reputations and market value. To cope with the trend of globalization , corporate leaders may want to consider applying corporate sustainability/social responsibility plan by addressing their "triple bottom line" which includes paying close attention to their economic (financial factors) , environment (risk, requirement factor) and social (human factors) issues. The use of Global Reporting Initiative(GRI) Index is the generally accepted framework for reporting an organization's economic, environmental, and social performance. It is designed for use by organizations of any size, sector, or location and contains general and sector-specific content that has been agreed upon by a wide range of stakeholders worlwide.
Corporate sustainability /social responsibility is of utmost importance for the survival of organizations and their future generations of employees. Organizations' product/service offerings and vendor networks are interconnected globally and are being recognized on a global scale. The World Economic Forum, which holds an annual global conference , recognizes the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world. Corporate sustainability /social responsibility reporting can be used by any organization for benchmarking and assessing its sustainability performance against notable global organizations with respect to laws , norms, codes , performance standards, and voluntary initiatives. Corporate sustainability /social responsibility is indeed critical to 21st century leaders who are entreprenuerial, think out of the box, and are serious about leading and growing sustainable organizations."
The globally integrated economy of the 21st century is providing new opportunities and spawning new kinds of dynamics and challenges. These call for innovation in management systems, work force models, employee engagement, corporate policy changes, and stakeholder diversity that requires organizations to apply new methodologies to ensure ongoing corporate sustainability.
Corporate Sustainability Planning
Corporate sustainability planning for an organization balances the need for economic growth with environmental protection and social equality. It is an evolving concept that organizational leaders are adopting because it makes good business sense. Reducing waste and inefficiency within an organization can save money and protect the environment. Syatems- based pollution protection and sound environmental management can be good for employees, customers , and vendors. Organizations derive through strategic sustainability planning an alignment of business objectives such as profit and competitiveness with sound economic , environmental, and social principles in place. Sustainability planning presents strategies for organizations to generate profits and save costs while contributing to the well-being of the planet and its people.
The concept of corporate sustainability planning provides an enlightened and disciplined management approach of corporate resources throughout organization.
Sustainability- A New Management Philosophy
Corporate sustainability can be viewed by environmentalists as ecological sustainability and by many in the business community as economic sustainability, whereas sociologists refer it as " social sustainability."Corporate sustainability efforts therefore promote the integration and balance of all three sustainability concepts. They ensure sustainability in corporate service and /or product developments and offerings for future generations of employees, customers, and stakeholder groups.
Several recurrent themes regarding corporate sustainability includes:
- Management of organizational growth by polluting the environment
- Development of processes that ensure sustainability in key products and /or service offerings throughout the organization
- Development of governance and leadership philosophies that promote sustainability throughout the organization, and among key supplier and customer networks that are aligned with the organization
- Development of corporate policies and procedures, partnerships, top leadership commitment, and involvement with various stakeholder groups
-Adressing financial viability and key economic , environmental, and social issues
- Meeting the corporate needs of the present leadership without compromising the ability of future generations of corporate leaders to ensure stability within the organization regarding economic, environment, and societal issues
- Ensuring that diversity is being considered in all corporate hiring, training and employee development programs and offering.
- Ensuring that human rights are being considered before securing services and/or products from various vendor groups.
- Developing strategic short and longer term planning initiatives that promote corporate sustainability.
- Consideration of environmental impacts on all new service and product offerings
- Addressing and attempting to resolve employee, customer, supplier, and stakeholder concerns that relate to economic, environmental, and societal issues
- Evaluation of risk management and regulatory initiatives that are in place to help ensure corporate sustainability
-Recognition of employees , vendors, and customers who exhibit notable sustainability practices.
- Documentation of key sustainabiltiy practices and/or processes throughout the organization.
Sustainability Issues and Strategic Opportunities
Organizations face a wide array of sustainability issues today. Many small and mid-sized organization lack a holistic strategic plan to address them or have a piecemeal and uncoordinated plan may result in the organization being exposed to unnecessary business risks and missing out on strategic opportunities for future growth and development.
Corporate sustainability planning incorporates a wide array of diverse areas, which includes organizational issues such as business strategy, leadership and managemnt development, finance, environmental issues, ethics, management of human resources, diversity, industry and community issues, health and safety, corporate governance, and labor relations.
In order for an organization to strategically address this large array of sustainability issues and to help achieve its vision and mission, the use of the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence has been incorporated throughout the book of Strategic Management-Building Competitive Advantage.
Global Sustainability Indexes and Criteria
There are many global criteria for sustainability that are used by organizations and profit-seeking investors, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, The Ethibel Sustainability Index, Ethical Global Index, FTSEA4Global 100 Index, Humanix 200 Global, Ethinvest Environmental Index Australia, Jantzi Social Index Canada. Johannesburg stock Exchange /FTSE4Good Index South africa and the Humanix 50 Index Sweden. Many of the indices' criteria are related , but are written with specific emphasis on various sustainability issues. In many cases the various criteria appear vague for organizations to use in developing their corporate sustainability plans.
The various index criteria appear to be theoretical , and difficult to understand and simplify to support a strategic focus and a holistic view of an organization's overall sustainable initiatives and strategic opportunities for future implementation. The most notable existing model that is being used by various industries both in the United States and globally is the Criteria for Performance of Excellence from the Baldrige National Quality Award Program that was developed in the United States. This model has indices in place that are aligned with several of the global sustainability indexes presently in place. The Baldrige Criteria not only promotes sustainability efforts , but also provides a framework to identify and implement sustainability initiatives that can strategically aligned and used to promote performance excellence throughout an organization.