By Stuart Platt

Definition of sustainability in business: ‘The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level’. Business sustainability can also be defined as managing the ‘triple bottom line’, this means a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities, especially in a holistic approach. These three impacts can also be referred to as; Profits, People and Planet. The fundamentals of everything your organisation does should revolve around quality, quality systems, quality product/services & quality staff etc. If you are sustaining a quality product or service, everything else should follow and fall into place.

To confirm that your organisation is working at its optimal level, regular management reviews must be conducted to ascertain you are meeting your goals, such as:

  • Internal Processes are working,
  • Non-conformances are being identified and addressed,
  • The workforce is competent (and content)
  • Impacts and aspects of the product/service are not affecting the organisational environment

A regular review of your systems also assists with continual improvement, lower risks and can produce the following benefits:

  • lower insurance premiums
  • reduced chance that the business may be the target of legal action
  • reduced losses of cash or stock etc.
  • reduced business down time.
  • Reduce incidents and negative events etc.

Embracing good sustainable practices leads organisations to: better corporate culture, more reliable products and greater long-term profitability and survivability. Sometimes called ‘Operational resilience’ This resilience is a set of techniques that allows the organisations people, processes and information systems to adapt to any changing patterns that the organisation may need to address? It is the ability to alter operations in the face of changing business conditions. Having this ability to ramp up or slow down operations in a way that provides a competitive edge and enables quick and local process modification, can assist greatly in an organisation being sustainable.

So, how sustainable is your organisation?

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