Why is everyone talking about SUSTAINABILITY?

Sustainability is a large umbrella term covering three main pillars: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) according to Fritjof Capra. It is defined as the ability to exist indefinitely where the biosphere and human race coexist.  The aim is to achieve a balanced environment where present needs in resources can be meet without compromising future needs. 

Economic sustainability

It focuses on the efficient use of resources by business resulting in a more sustainable manner at which they produce an operational profit.

Social Sustainability

It evolves society’s ability to maintain a social system ensuring the longevity of good social well-being practices.

Environmental Sustainability

This is achievable when we live within the limits of our natural resources. Allowing their sustainable use to ensure its longevity. This topic is being tackled by using more abundant resources as opposed to scarce materials and consideration on the level of damage to the environment mining these resources have.  

What does all this mean for a Business

money

A business can sustainably have a major impact on the environment and society. When a business fails to tackle this issue, this could contribute negatively to issues like environmental degradation, inequality, and social injustices. I am fully aware that business means increasing turnover rates and therefore rolling in those profits. Well here is where sustainability could be an ally as opposed to being considered ‘a waste of time’. Research shows companies with a high ESG rating have lower costs of debt and equity in comparison to companies with a low ESG rating. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that 37% of businesses are reporting profits from implementing sustainable business models. Corporations that adapt and plan with climate change in mind are securing an 18% higher ROI than companies that aren’t.

Therefore, we are seeing a trend where companies that aren’t seeing sustainability as also a money-making opportunity as well as its positive environmental benefits is hurting their business in the long term as resources are becoming scarce.  Recovery from this will, therefore, be harder to recover from.

 

BONUS INFORMATION

How can you get involved?

This can be achieved by recycling. In Switzerland we one of the top leading countries when it comes to recycling. From recycling options in for glass bottles to electronic devices. Choosing to take the time to properly dispose of items will make a big contribution. You can also be more aware when it comes to daily power consumption. Opting for clean alternatives like cycling short distances instead of driving there helps reduce your carbon footprint keeping carbon emissions low.

 

Check out our Podcast!

Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

The purpose of this podcast is to create value for students and alumni members alike. Our goal is to create a platform for all sorts of discussions.

In our first episode, we are exploring the challenges and opportunities involved with sustainability. Our host and IM student Yannick Rothenbühler talks to an advocate and friend of his from Canada, Anna Peng about this highly debated topic.

Spread the word and enjoy!