Browse Definitions :
Definition

business sustainability

Business sustainability, also known as corporate sustainability, is the management and coordination of environmental, social and financial demands and concerns to ensure responsible, ethical and ongoing success.

In a broader context, social, environmental and economic demands are considered the three pillars of sustainability. Within the corporate world, they are sometimes referred to as the triple bottom line. The concept is a departure from the traditional concept of the bottom line, which evaluates all efforts in terms of their short-term effect on profits.

In traditional corporate cultures, social and environmental concerns have typically been considered to conflict with financial goals.  Depletion of non-renewable resources, for example, is obviously not a sustainable practice. However, because alternatives typically require investments in infrastructure,   continuing to rely upon fossil fuels is the least expensive short-term option.

The goal of sustainability requires a more extended timeline for return on investment (ROI) but once initial investments are made, they can actually lead to increased profitability.  One example is free cooling for data centers, which takes advantage of naturally-occurring phenomena to control temperatures. Although the technologies involved may require initial cash outlay, the renewable resources they rely upon are freely available and reliable, which will eventually pay off.

Similarly, investments in socially ethical practices may initially cost a business money but typically lead to enhanced recruitment, branding and public relations (PR), which all tend to lead to increased profitability.

See also: World’s Most Ethical (WME), supply chain sustainability, sustainability risk management (SRM)

This was last updated in November 2013

Continue Reading About business sustainability

SearchCompliance
  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

  • risk avoidance

    Risk avoidance is the elimination of hazards, activities and exposures that can negatively affect an organization and its assets.

SearchSecurity
  • script kiddie

    Script kiddie is a derogative term that computer hackers coined to refer to immature, but often just as dangerous, exploiters of ...

  • cipher

    In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for encrypting and decrypting data.

  • What is risk analysis?

    Risk analysis is the process of identifying and analyzing potential issues that could negatively impact key business initiatives ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory)

    MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) is a method of storing data bits using magnetic states instead of the electrical ...

  • storage volume

    A storage volume is an identifiable unit of data storage. It can be a removable hard disk, but it does not have to be a unit that...

  • storage capacity planning

    Storage capacity planning is the practice of assessing current data storage needs and forecasting future storage requirements.

Close