Browse Definitions :
Definition

business sustainability

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

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

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Sustainability takes many shapes. The work of Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy https://bit.ly/1gya8V3 is a perfect example. Discover more about his amazing incredible accomplishment of cleaning up Milan's pollution problem at http://millennialmagazine.co. Now he needs to go to China. They need a lot of help with their poor air quality.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

  • fee-for-service (FFS)

    Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model in which doctors, hospitals, and medical practices charge separately for each service ...

  • biomedical informatics

    Biomedical informatics is the branch of health informatics that uses data to help clinicians, researchers and scientists improve ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

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

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

  • natural disaster recovery

    Natural disaster recovery is the process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster.

SearchStorage

  • RAID 5

    RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity.

  • non-volatile storage (NVS)

    Non-volatile storage (NVS) is a broad collection of technologies and devices that do not require a continuous power supply to ...

  • petabyte

    A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.

Close