Thus, it may appear to run contrary to the fundamental driver of business activity - generating as much profit in as short a period of time as possible. Nevertheless, the public image advantage that a business with a true sustainable development strategy can enjoy may result in both short term gain and long term potential.
Sustainable development is an important issue all over the globe, from the developed to the developing world, as the risk of environmental degradation and social decay resulting from irresponsible business practices is ubiquitous. "Sustainable development is not just an issue for developing countries. A commitment to the promotion of sustainable development is deepening at the international, regional and national levels. It has become a norm of global environmental politics; it is a legal requirement of Member States of the EU; and, within a UK context, is forming an important part of environment and development strategies of devolved governments" (http://books.google.com/booksid=UFZSCqtS3h8C&dq=sustainable+development&pg=PA1&ots=NbcrmR3fnq&sig=tfWA-gZ_xJ0rrHIw9BMopvfHfBs&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dsustainable%2Bdevelopment%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch&sa=X&oi=print&ct=result&cd=1).
Rather, businesses are either forced to do so under threat of legal repercussions of they do not; or they choose to do so as a result of a calculation that doing so bears greater profit potential than not doing so. To be sure, a purely capitalistic view of business would regard as anathema the notion that businesses need to care about a greater good beyond generation of profit. According to this view, the raison d'tre of private sector business is exclusively to make money; and to pretend otherwise is an exercise in naivety. Ultimately, the accuracy of these criticisms offers the insight necessary for ensuring businesses see the benefit of adhering to sustainable development strategies.
Defining Sustainable Development
Sustainable development has been defined in the 1987 Brundtland Commission report as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (http://www.are.admin.ch/are/en/nachhaltig/international_uno/unterseite02330/). It is grounded in the notion that "we are living beyond our means. From the loss of biodiversity with the felling of rainforests or over fishing to the negative effect our consumption patterns are having on the environment and the climate. Our way of life is placing an increasing burden on the planet" (http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/what/index.htm).
More specifically, "sustainability has been described as focusing on the 'triple bottom line,' the need to balance the three E's in the global economy: economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity. In other words, economic growth must be pursued in a
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Sustainable development" has become a fashionable phrase in modern business. It implies a sense of environmental and social responsibility that can be a public relations boon for a business that appears to embrace the concept. The phrase relates to business practices that are conscious of the potential negative repercussions they may have on the world in which they are carried out, and that seek to mitigate those repercussions…
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8 pages (2000 words)Essay
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