By Donna Faylona-Marcelo
That one line carries with it a wealth of meaning and may be somewhat intimidating. When one comes upon a complicated situation or even sentence, I’ve found that the best way to tackle it is to break it down.
First, what is corporate sustainability?
Sustainability is a holistic, long-term approach to managing not only environmental risks but also social and financial ones. In other words, for a company to survive for many years, it needs to look at not just profits, but also the impact it has on the environment, its people, and its customers.
Second, what does corporate sustainability have to do with us as employees?
More companies are starting to see the benefits of being sustainable as it not only enhances a company’s image and creates strong brand loyalty among customers, employees, and other stakeholders, but it can also lower operating costs and produce higher revenues. This in turn ensures the longevity of the company and benefits all its stakeholders, the least of whom are its employees.
Third, if it’s a corporate goal, how can what we do individually contribute to sustainability?
Simple acts, such as turning off the lights in our office before leaving, being mindful of our use of water and paper products, and using reusable containers and bottles; bigger acts such as using sustainable materials in our projects, incorporating the mindset of sustainability in all our programs, keeping the customer at the center of all that we do, giving assistance to those in need – all these can create a ripple effect that can be felt in a bigger way overall.
Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group India once said, “sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business”.
If these acts and mindsets become second nature to us, they will carry over to our families, our friends, and our customers – and before we know it, our influence may positively influence an even larger section of society. The ultimate goal is to work together to make this country, and this planet, a better place to live in not just for us, but most importantly, for the future generation.
Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that the Company’s sustainability journey is on track. We are all responsible for its success – all our contributions matter. The sustainability journey should start with each one of us.
So let’s not be intimidated by big-sounding words and concepts – we can break it down and succeed in embodying the value of corporate sustainability: one step at a time, one act at a time, one day at a time. This is our role and our responsibility.
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash