Many organizations have developed frameworks that allow them to maintain profitability while supporting social or environmental causes. Profitability alone is no longer considered the only measurement of sustainable growth among private and public entities. Success is often about balance. Balancing the integration of social, environmental and internal matters is a smart strategy for building a sustainable business.
Marc J. Lane, JD, a corporate governance expert and socially responsible investment adviser says “Few would argue with the proposition that the responsible management of environmental resources and of health and safety risks makes good sense from a cost-reduction and compliance perspective. The truth is that companies that employ prudent sustainability practices and share sustainability data also tend to experience higher gross margins and return on sales, higher return on assets, stronger cash flow and rising shareholder returns.”
People and planet stewardship, along with profit performance, typically referred to as the Triple Bottom Line, are now acknowledged as measurable factors of successful corporations. Stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders expect corporations to demonstrate leadership in most of these areas now, if not all. In order to meet stakeholders’ expectations, corporations must maintain acceptable levels of transparency and trust. Research has shown that companies focusing on corporate sustainability and trustworthy business practices can outperform those who do not.
So what specific issues are these companies focusing on to excel in corporate sustainability and build trust? They range from environmental to social to internal development issues and span areas such as climate change, energy efficiency, water conservation, employee safety and benefits, corporate philanthropy and ethical vendor management. Issues often vary depending on the industry and the corporation.
So if you are interested in double and triple bottom line success you may want to look at CSR positions inside of companies.