BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business
As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.
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At this contentious time in American politics, it seems like just about everything is becoming a political issue. Sustainability, sadly, hasn’t been spared the wrath of heated political rhetoric.
The ongoing debate about issues like federal subsidies, climate change mitigation, and natural gas fracking might make corporate sustainability look like a politically divisive thing. But that’s simply not the case. Corporate sustainability is as mainstream as it gets, so you’d better commit your company to a greener future if you want to remain competitive in the years to come.
Is regulation the enemy or your best untapped strategy? If you comply with minimum environmental standards to save money in the short term, you do so at your peril by limiting the long-term benefits of over-compliance.
Reason #1: Open Doors to More Markets
If you only meet the requirements of your local operation, you may limit yourself to that market. By adhering to stricter standards, you can offer your products without sweeping changes to produce different products for different places.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides a framework for companies to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance. At first glance, a formal framework may seem overkill for a small business. However, the core principles of the GRI can benefit small players as much, if not more, than a Fortune 500 company.
Measuring Beyond the Bottom Line
Revenue and profit are critical to your operation. If you don’t keep tabs on these numbers, your business won’t survive. The GRI is simply an extension of these metrics that allows you to measure the impact of your business on your environment and community (including your customers).