Being Sustainable Makes Business Sense; Sustainable Development ' SD Charter: Working Together to Develop Processes and People, to Take Better Long-Term Decisions

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Being Sustainable Makes Business Sense; Sustainable Development ' SD Charter: Working Together to Develop Processes and People, to Take Better Long-Term Decisions


Making decisions which balance the needs of society, the economy and the planet on which we all depend makes long-term sense. This is the clear result from a study of 180 companies over 18 years, which was done by the Harvard Business School.

The study provides strong evidence that an organisation with a culture which values the social and environmental consequences of its actions, as well as the economic benefits, will increase its value over the long term.

The Welsh Government has long considered this approach to be the best way for public sector organisations to operate too, if we are to gain the most benefit from public investment in Wales.

This is why we are taking forward a bill to extend the legal duty on sustainable development to all devolved public sector organisations.

However, many organisations aren't waiting for a duty, which in any case may not directly impact on them, to embed this approach in all their decisions and processes.

More than 110 organisations have signed up to the Welsh Government's Sustainable Development (SD) Charter, with BT being one of the most recent and high profile companies to sign up.

They join a network made up of organisations of all shapes and sizes, from businesses to local authorities, health boards to community enterprises, and sole traders to global concerns. What they all have in common is a commitment to work together to develop their processes and people, to take better long-term decisions.

Members are invited to special events 'which help tackle some of the difficult decisions organisations are being forced to make in these challenging times.

Recent events have included Accounting for Sustainability, making sure all the costs and benefits of actions are considered and reported. The next event will focus on procurement, and the long-term impacts both buyers and sellers can benefit from.

If your organisation is up for setting itself a sustainability challenge every year, and signing up to the SD Charter, visit www.wales.gov.uk/sustainabledevelopment.

In these hard times it can be easy to focus on the negative but every action, no matter how small, that will produce long-term benefits is worth celebrating.

Wales Sustainability Week is all about celebrating the work undertaken by people, communities and organisations across Wales to improve the quality of life for themselves and others - and inspiring others to get involved. …

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