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All you need to know about the 3 pillars of corporate sustainability

Corporate sustainability is an important topic in large and small businesses. Businesses are increasingly discovering environmentally friendly ways to provide their goods and services.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors is the general term for corporate sustainability practices. Businesses use the ESG framework to reduce their environmental impact.

All you need to know about the 3 pillars of corporate sustainability

What are the three pillars of corporate sustainability?

Corporate sustainability is a way of doing business that focuses on the environment, social responsibility, and the economy while also creating sustainable, long-term value for shareholders, employees, consumers, and society.

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All three corporate sustainability pillars require equal focus and effort to grow a successful, sustainable company. The following are the three pillars of corporate sustainability:

1. The environmental pillar

Many businesses focus on the environmental pillar by working to reduce their water use, packaging waste, and carbon footprint. The environmental pillar also benefits the company; for example, cutting back on packaging materials can lower costs and increase fuel efficiency.

2. The social pillar

The social pillar is connected to the social licence. The social pillar refers to public policies that aid social issues in the company. These social issues support equality, the observance of individual rights, employment, healthcare, education, and housing.

3. The governance pillar

Compliance, good governance, and risk management comprise the governance pillar of sustainability. This governance pillar, also called the economic pillar, refers to boards of directors and management aligning themselves with the interests of shareholders, the company's customers, value chains, and the community.

What should sustainable companies do to succeed?

There are five crucial success factors that offer benefits to the world's most sustainable companies:

1. Sustainable companies operate according to ethical principles

When a corporation upholds ethical principles, like labour regulations, anti-corruption, or human rights, it has a clear sense of purpose. These values are essential to achieve corporate sustainability.

2. Sustainable companies aim to improve society

A company can go further than its potential for financial, social, or environmental gain and consider how its activities, products, or strategies could help society.

3. Sustainable companies support the role of leadership commitment

A leader should inspire others while being flexible enough to change strategy when necessary. This will ultimately result in greater corporate sustainability.

4. Sustainable companies take local action

According to the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), a company should take local action. Local action entails that a company should determine and communicate its goals and values based on the region in which it operates.

5. Sustainable companies monitor their development

By reporting corporate sustainability progress or overall contributions, a company can track what factors contribute to its success and achievement of outcomes.

Five strategies to align your company with corporate sustainability

These are the main five strategies your company can use to develop corporate sustainability:

1. Align strategy and sustainability 

Businesses pledge to reduce their carbon footprint; however, they may need to be made aware of how to achieve their net-zero goals.

When a company aligns its mission statement with sustainability, it helps the company to make its carbon emissions reduction and consumer trust-building efforts easier. As a result, the incentive and significance of environmental values will improve the other pillars.

2. Serve your market before becoming competitive

Your company should prioritise its target market value before defending its competitive advantage. If your company has corporate sustainability, customers and investors are more likely to buy its products or engage its services.

3. Pursue honesty

If your company is open about its successes and setbacks, it may gain additional development. To increase a company's corporate sustainability, it must strive for transparency with its clients and employees.

4. Take care of your employees

Putting employees first demonstrates a company’s respect for the community. People who are more driven will aid in the success of your business and the achievement of your sustainable objectives.

5. Collaborate with sustainable companies

Companies that collaborate with each other can share resources and ideas, allowing for a deeper understanding and incentive to achieve corporate sustainability.

How does DGB Group help you achieve corporate sustainability? 

Businesses embracing sustainability will benefit their employees and the surrounding community in many ways. DGB Group is helping businesses plant trees to, amongst many other benefits, promote employee engagement and corporate sustainability. Make sure your business gets involved and starts positively impacting the environment.

Make your first step towards sustainability today

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