CSE assessment based on research findings helps companies identify whether their sustainability performance boosts their business strategy.
By Nikos Avlonas and Rosalinda Sanquiche
Originally posted to CSRWire May 23, 2018, https://buff.ly/2IJdnQu
You’ve completed your Sustainability Report – good!
You have a vision statement positioning your company as a community steward, protecting human and environmental resources – great!
Can you now sit and wait for the next round of reporting? Is reporting just an exercise to appease a few key stakeholders?
Not even close. If you are not connecting your sustainability strategy and all the work you did on your Sustainability Report to your business outcomes, you are missing an opportunity.
Your Sustainability Strategy must be integrated into your Business Strategy. They complement each other, promoting the health and wealth of the company along with the health and wealth of your community.
Based on our North America research, the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) has identified a set of enablers and tools which indicate how well your organization’s sustainability strategy is integrated within your business strategy. Our research has identified correlations between having a sound sustainability strategy and financial performance.
When sustainability enablers and tools combine with a sound business foundation, expect increased Sustainability Ratings – important to investors. Expect to positively influence stakeholders’ perceptions, instrumental in gaining customers. Reputation and branding are highly sought by companies, whether or not they are pursuing sustainability.
What a bonus that you can have both – a sustainability strategy AND sound business elements.
Knowing if your sustainability strategy is integrated with your business plan can be tricky. You need tangible ways to measure if they are indeed working synergistically with enablers, tools and outcomes.
Key enablers include a culture of transparency, comprehensive strategic goals, and a system to respond to stakeholder expectations. Tools include your Sustainability Report, a Materiality Assessment, and systematic Stakeholder Communications.
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Has your company made these important integrations? CSE’s Sustainability and Financial Performance Questionnaire helps identify your company’s stance. A low score – your strategy is unlikely to support your financial goals. A high score – your sustainability performance enhances your business goals.
We should all aspire to being stewards of Earth’s resources and responsible partners within our communities. Such aspirations must go hand-in-hand with financial performance. If not, how can we support the good we do within communities? Use sustainability tools to enable the financial sweet spot within your organization.
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