Successful business leaders recognise the need to focus on sustained value creation. Now more than ever, this requires a broader view of growth than just increased output and short-term financial returns, as significant mega trends are putting to the test the resilience, sustainability and impact of organisations’ strategies and business models.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change put difficult challenges under the spotlight and signal a switch from short to long-term strategies to deliver change. Significant investment will be required to tackle these major world issues and business will be the critical player in their success.
Issues of trust, company purpose and values are on some investment professionals’ radar. For some investment professionals, metrics related to social and environmental impacts now appear fundamental to their assessment of a company’s future value-creation potential, as well as their assessment of risks.
All the signs point to business embedding sustainable development thinking, with the result that it’s becoming a mainstream approach to business-as-usual. This shouldn’t be surprising as it’s common sense that business gives priority to its own longevity and reputation, risk management and resilience, in effect the cornerstones of sustainable development.
The world is changing. Are the business models of the past fit for the challenges of today? Will they generate the ‘good growth’ that governments and society as a whole are increasingly demanding? In this new business context, it is time to revisit the breadth of information used to make decisions and to judge long-term success.
As a society - business, government, and individuals - we all impact the environment in which we live and operate and the people around us. Often these impacts are negative, specifically in the areas that traditionally fall under the safety, health and environment banner.