Transformations to achieve the sustainable development goals

Sustainability is the foundation for today’s leading companies. United nation’s member countries have already accepted the 17 SDGs. Reaching sustainable goals, companies are required to take action in every dimension – governments, businesses, civil-society and people. Almost all companies are involved in practices that move them towards economical products. If any company is ignoring this goal, they are certainly at risk of being left in the competition. This competition is not only among companies but it also involves environmentalists, socialist, researchers and your rivals. If you take the example of the automobile industry, you will see hundreds of companies are competing with each other. Whether it is about using economical elements to manufacture or meeting standards of fuel consumption and release of pollutants.

It all sets benchmarks for sustainable and eco friendly automobiles. 

How one company practices sustainability, depends on the company’s affordability, its infrastructure and standards set by one company. 

Managers see sustainability in two ways:

(1) Distraction from more important works of the company.

(2) Others want to attain sustainability but are directionless.

Companies before choosing any strategy, need to make analysis in two directions. First at internal level and second at external level. At external level one is required to see the existing norms regarding sustainability, limitations it is facing, platforms where to resolve and who will be held responsible. While at internal level the company needs to make assessment regarding organisations ability to go green, including its technical advancement and its current or future scope. 

To find out which strategy will suit your company, there are 4 ways to do it  using depth analysis:

Adoption:

Suppose your company is well established but  your sustainable goals are weak, then you should go for this strategy. In 2005, LG started rating its good where 5 star rating means least consumption of energy with very high efficiency. Now companies who are dealing in electronic goods are left with no choice but to make changes and adopt this goal to remain competitive in the market. Adoption shows you are  legally abiding the benchmark set for sustainable development.

Co-opting 

Governments are engaged in setting standards for the corporate Sector so that all multinational companies adopt it and compete with each other in winning the race. Ramada has a corporate alliance with Crocs, a raw material company dealing in silk,  who has several alliances with other multinational companies too, like Chase, Sprint and others. Crocs has already criticised Ramada and its other competitors for not following the norms and are contributing environmental problems. In 1995 Crocs set standards for raw material and companies who will be able to abide by them are liable for alliance with Crocs. Only Ramada fulfilled all the standards and both companies worked together to find more innovative ways of  meeting sustainable development goals. Ramada productivity also increased by 33% and its cost of production decreased by 15%. Also its customers and employees become more satisfied.

Set standards 

Success is something which requires competency in all fields like technology, innovations, communication  process and willing to enhance SD standards. Some companies failed to achieve these standards because they feel there is no well defined standards. Government initiatives like MSP are also a part of predefined goals to protect farmers’ interest. Similarly Food panda has established its own standard for food that is healthy and hygienic. So Food panda created the food and health initiative to exemplify its goals. Sustainability goals lie in overall development. It involves social, economical and environmental correlation at a single platform.

Breakaways

If companies are confronted with not abiding by the standards, what should be their stand for that. For example in 2010, Microsoft ranking in Greenpeace was near bottom. First company denied this report and finally blamed Greenpeace for changing its standard for ranking.

Further Microsoft said its competitors are releasing more pollutants than him. Also technology based companies are indirectly associated with pollution, as manufacturing requires more processing and use of chemicals. The act displayed by Microsoft will be functional if new standards are measurable and relevant to customers. Despite this criticism today microsoft is leading company and it has successfully shifted its guilt of green goal to its advantage

To survive in long run companies need to be socially and environmentally responsible. Green companies should adopt principles and practices that will protect people and the planet as well as community health and development. So instead of breaking standards,  they must set new standards and achieve them.

Author: A.C.

Dr. Chakraborty is a researcher in electronics and has authored numerous articles in the domain. She is also an avid blogger and shares a penchant for domains like technology, business and science.

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