Nowadays, every company and government organization speaks about Sustainable Development or SDs. As a matter of fact, SD has become very important globally because it gives organizations and governments, a plan to work for the future.
To meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations and other global organizations, a lot of companies are implementing various business strategies. Therefore, the question is, which are the best strategies for sustainable development and how to go about developing them for your company.
Therefore, in this article, I will discuss the seven best business strategies for sustainable development, under the UN’s SDGs that are globally relevant.
Let’s begin by understanding the broad definition of Sustainable Development. This can give you a clearer picture of the seven business strategies for Sustainable Development.
Understanding Sustainable Development
The International Institute for Sustainable Development offers the following definition: “Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
In simpler terms, it means that businesses have to work in a manner that takes care of their operations in the present time in a manner that enables equal or more growth in the future without the need for additional resources.
To ensure this situation, businesses are required to take steps now so that the future is secure and offers growth for all concerned stakeholders.
Seven Best Business Strategies for Sustainable Development
Keeping in mind the various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN and other global bodies, here’re the best seven strategies for sustainable development. You can adapt these strategies to suit the specific needs of your business.
Implement Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is the best and foremost business policy for any organization looking at sustainable development. The reason is simple, a CSR program usually is implemented in the broader community through staff and management of the business.
It allows organizations to reach out to underprivileged sections of society and carry out welfare activities. These welfare activities help in the promotion of the overall goodwill of the organization in the community and boost staff morale. This translates as a greater sense of citizenry and benefits the country as a whole.
These CSR initiatives are usually done in accordance with a fixed budget. In some countries, it’s compulsory for businesses to allot a specific amount of their annual profits for CSR activities.
Focus on Skill Building
Businesses can focus on skill-building activities, both for their staff and for the community as part of their CSR initiatives. Within an organization, the focus should be on providing training, either online or offline to staff members. Such training helps them develop the latest skills necessary for work.
This, in turn, helps save time, resources such as energy, water, and material, while increasing the productivity of the organization in the short, medium, and long run. In the community, skills-building can focus on women and children. They can be taught skills that are necessary for the long run and can serve as an external resource of manpower for the business.
Educational Programs for Underprivileged
Yet another important business strategy for sustainable development is to conduct educational programs for the underprivileged communities of the society. This helps reduce illiteracy in society at large. The country also benefits due to declining in the illiteracy rate. Such a literacy program can be made a part of your CSR initiatives. Some organizations in the world outsource teaching young children to an educational institute.
This institute, in turn, sends its tutors to the location to teach children. The people you train today can prove to be a vital manpower resource for tomorrow when your business requires people. And that added sense of loyalty to your business makes such students join the organization willingly and with pride.
One of the main SDGs is to cut industrial pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, these SDGs also call for a reduction in power usage globally. Therefore, as part of your business strategy, look at ways and means to reduce power consumption in the production units as well as offices.
You can use renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar for meeting some of your power needs. Additionally, you can train staff on energy conservation to ensure that production costs are cut due to lower power consumption. Power conservation is very important nowadays and implementing a strategy that aims at power conservation and the use of environment-friendly fuels is very important for a business.
Reducing and Eliminating Pollution
Perhaps, no other SDG is more important than the reduction and eventual elimination of pollution of all kinds from our planet. As you would be aware, the Earth is plagued with industrial pollution leading to air, water, soil, and noise pollution. Therefore, implement a business strategy that aims at reducing and eventually eliminating air, water, soil, and noise pollution.
This can be achieved by using raw materials that don’t pollute or using biodegradable material for manufacture, dumping, and disposing of industrial waste in the proper manner and taking care to see that affluents don’t escape into the air, soil, and water. Now noise machinery can also help reduce noise pollution to a great extent.
Health & Safety Programs
You can also implement a comprehensive business strategy aimed at the health and safety of your staff as well as the community, as part of sustainable development. Your business can contribute towards the healthcare and medical check-ups of a community. Also, ensure that your staff enjoys the best health through regular visits to medical centers to check for any symptoms of long-term or chronic diseases.
Healthy staff translates directly as happier and more productive workers. It lowers the need to hire freshers and train them. It also helps save lives in many cases. Safety at the workplace should also feature in your business strategy. This means finding ways and means to provide an accident-free working area for your employees.
Syncing Business Strategies to National Goals
Every nation under the Sun has a specific goal for its citizens. This could be poverty alleviation or eradicating illiteracy, ensuring access to healthcare, or women empowerment.
The best business strategy for sustainable development always takes into consideration such national goals and objectives and works towards implementing those at the workplace and through CSR initiatives in the community at large. Often, such syncing also helps businesses to implement government programs with some state funding as part of their CSR drive.
It’s worth remembering that sustainable development isn’t merely for governments. In fact, these SDGs are for citizens of every country. Hence, the corporate sector also has to take such initiatives by implementing the right strategy in their business models.
Laiba Azhar is the co founder of Webgeniesoft Solutions and BBC News Featured Freelancer. She is a full time blogger and social media influencer who loves to write content. When not writing, she can be found hunting different books, making videos, and taking care of her son.
The editorial team at CMS Beginners is a group of industry-leading freelancers and online entrepreneurs. Their main aim is to educate people about online earning and empower youth.