Business Sustainability Essay

1595 Words 7 Pages
Business sustainability is often defined as managing the triple bottom line. This is a process by which companies can refer to the areas such as: profits, people and planet financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts can also be commonly referred to as profits, people and planets. (Lexicon, Financial Times)
Business sustainability requires firms to adhere to the principles of sustainable development. According to the World Council for Economic Development (WCED), sustainable development is development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” So, for industrial development to be sustainable, it must address important
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In essence, the roles that accountants play are one which measures the financial performance within their respective companies. So how can the accountants aid in measuring and implementing sustainable development.
Traditionally accountants’ role would have been focused on the assessment of the peformance of a business from a financial perspective alone and prepapring the relevant information relating to this. However companies must now incorporate a broader perspective when assessing the performance of the company with many using the Triple Bottm Line approach;
• Environmental Performance – use of resoruces, waste, environmental damage
• Social Performance – labour, community, society
• Economic Performance – traditional accounting perspective of performance (loop notes)

The accountants’ role has evolved significantly over the years from number cruncher to a business advisor which now encompasses roles such as audit, tax advice, IT and consultancy, These changes were driven by market changes and shifts in expectations from the business community.(
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Many companies believe that “going green” is a more costly alternative, however in doing this, while initially I may raise costs, it is proven that in the long term ultimate they reep the rewards.
Among the sustainability issues for businesses and society are water-intensive companies (think Coca-Cola, Nestle, Texas Instruments) who are now assessing the risk they pose to the areas in which they operate. In today’s business world, people’s view of a company is not based simply on what it does, but how the company does it.
Lagging behind on the issue of sustainability within business operations will eventually mean lagging behind the competition.

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