Building resilience into business strategy. management and reporting


Business faces complex decisions every day. Today’s CEOs face a business environment that’s becoming increasingly complicated to read and adapt to. There is also an urgent need to find new avenues and additional opportunities to withstand, mitigate, and adapt to global risks and threats.

The global community increasingly expects business, as a key role player in society, to take the lead in responding to the global challenges and national development agendas.

Transparency and trust have become central to success of business in the longer term, and engagement with stakeholders is taking on a new meaning.

In this guideline we introduce you to the concept of resilience and its application in building a business that creates value through facilitating a resilient social and natural system. We highlight the importance of your organisations making use of resilience as the mechanism towards addressing sustainability and risk management in times of unprecedented global change.

Principles for building systems resilience into integrated management diagram

Source: Resilience principles for business

Two guideline components

Embedding resilience

In this section we define the concept of resilience from a systems thinking perspective and describe how through the application of resilience, a business would be able create opportunities which facilitate growth, to secure a business success in the light of global change.

Towards measuring and achieving resilience

In this section we introduce seven resilience principles that assist in embedding a resilience approach in strategy, management and reporting.

Worksheets - Principles

Systems principle

Recognition that the organisation operates within a broader social-ecological system which they share with multiple users. As such, the organisation recognises that they have impacts (both direct and indirect) for which they are accountable beyond the physical boundaries of their organisation.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Accountability toward the social ecological system
  2. Value creation and relationship with capitals
  3. Sharing of social and ecological resources

View more

Risk and adaptation principle

The organisation’s risk landscape is extended to include risks to the vulnerability and thresholds of the social ecological system in which they exist. The organisation has efforts at building the adaptive capacity of the system in relation to social ecological system vulnerabilities in addition to immediate risks to the organisation.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Recognition of risks
  2. Risk mitigation and adaptive capacity

View more

Decoupling principle

Financial growth of the organisation is decoupled from natural resource use and environmental impacts.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Resource use and environmental impacts
  2. Life cycle impacts and extended producer responsibility

View more

Well-being principle

There is an understanding that the well-being of employees and of the system as a whole is integral to the value creation of the organisation. As such the organisation creates opportunities for people to develop their capabilities and to attain a higher quality of life.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Health and safety risks
  2. Employee satisfaction
  3. Income dispensation

View more

Restoration principle

There is financial investment allocated towards restoring the social and natural capital upon which the organisation relies, with a focus on building the resilience of the underlying system.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Scope of investment in natural and social capability
  2. Motivation for investment in natural and social capital
  3. Partnerships for restoration

View more

Collaborative governance principle

Organisational governance facilitates collaboration with stakeholders for co-learning and knowledge generation towards adaptive management.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Visionary governance and leadership
  2. Stakeholders and decision making

View more

Innovation and foresight principle

Pioneering integrated management for intergenerational equity.

Indicators describing current status of organisation 

  1. Planning horizon for strategy and operations
  2. Thought leadership and innovation for sustainability
  3. Organisational culture and innovations

View more

Contact us

Jayne Mammatt

Jayne Mammatt

Partner, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4128

Chantal van der Watt

Chantal van der Watt

Senior Manager, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 5541

Jaco Viviers

Jaco Viviers

Manager, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)11 287 0826

Follow us