Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Critical success factors to achieve sustainability

Malaysian corporations are still in its infancy with regards to achieving a truly sustaining phase. There is still more to learn and do. It is a long journey to achieve the sustaining phase but the rewards are great.

There are a few critical success factors to achieve sustainability as listed below.

1. Integration of the local community and environment as key stakeholders of the corporation.

Corporations must include the local community and the environment as a key stakeholder with the highest priority. By doing so, the profit oriented corporation will be able to balance their profit orientation with their social responsibility which includes the betterment of society as well as the protection of the environment

2. Being very clear on WHAT exactly to achieve (to be spelled out as the mission & vision) and more importantly, HOW to achieve it from sustainability point of view. Check out at Interface's Mission Zero.

Currently many organizations have Corporate Social Responsibility policy or statements which seems more like a public relations activity. This has to change if the corporation is serious about being a sustaining organization. Sustainability must be the core of the corporate strategy.

3. Continuous and active involvement of employees.

It is critical that employees understand how they can contribute positively to help the organization to achieve the sustaining phase. It is also critical they are motivated to do so. Otherwise it will be just a greenwash. Having their performance related compensation is one way to achieve this. There will be also spillover effect whereby the employees will in turn educate their family members on sustainability.

4. Ensure both our products and process including raw materials incorporates people and environmental friendliness. For example, what's the point of using electricity that was generated by burning coal or utilizing nuclear technology !!! We should go for renewable energy instead.

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