Think ‘People’ In Your Sustainability Agenda

FILE PHOTO | NMG

By Edward Mungai

The business world is abuzz with going green and sustainability in the search for longevity.

It, however, goes beyond putting office resources to good use and includes financial health.

Sustainability has a social face in the form of how a company handles staff welfare along with the interests of customers and the larger society.

This social component of sustainability has often been overlooked, yet a company cannot stand without factoring in people interests, seen and unseen.

Social sustainability occurs when businesses, both formal and informal, install systems, structures and relationships that support generations.

This is by contributing to creation of healthy and livable communities. Socially sustainable communities strive to be equitable, democratic, diverse, and provide quality life and equal opportunities for growth.

Social sustainability is one of the three main pillars, alongside economic and environmental pillars, of great companies. It is the people-pillar in the People, Planet and Profit triple bottom-line narrative.

According to the UN Global Compact, the social component of a business cannot be downplayed for it shapes the quality of relationships with staff, customers and authorities. It differentiates a healthy work ecosystem from a toxic one.

To this end, embracing social practices by companies, some of whom include it in annual reports, offers a window through which a business can view its impact.

Cutting corners to quickly put your product on the market for profits harms not just your immediate customers, but the entire chain.

It, therefore, goes that before you declare your organization as sustainable, you should pass the social test. Read more

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