"The brands that will be big in the future will be those that tap into the social changes that are taking place."
Sir Michael Perry, Chairman of Centrica PLC
Sustainable business should have the support and approval of its employees, stakeholders and the community it operates in. The approaches to securing and maintaining this support are various, but it comes down to treating employees fairly and being a good neighbor and community member, both locally and globally.
On a global social scale, a business needs to be aware of how its supply chain is being filled. Is child labor going into your end product? Are people being paid fairly? Is the work environment safe?
The environmental pillar often gets the most attention when it comes to sustainability. Companies are focusing on reducing their carbon footprints, packaging waste, water usage and their overall impact on the planet. Companies have found that many of the environmental wins can also have a positive financial impact. Lessening the amount of material used in packaging usually reduces the overall spending on those materials, for example. Walmart keyed in on packaging through their zero-waste initiative, pushing for less packaging through their supply chain and for more of that packaging to be sourced from recycled or reused materials.