Forbes’ list of 2016’s most sustainable companies has highlighted the fact that sustainability still matters. The reality is that, while we live, work, and rely on planet earth, we need to look after the limited resources that remain.
According to Forbes, and based on research conducted by Corporate Knights, BMW is considered the most sustainable company. “BMW, the Munich-based maker of luxury cars and motorcycles, is the world’s most sustainable company this year, according to a ranking released this week by Toronto-based media company Corporate Knights. The company earned particularly high marks for efficient use of water, energy, and lack of waste.”
John J Coetzee, Chief Executive Officer of Green Worx Cleaning Solutions emphasises the need for sustainable business. “The business Lexicon defines sustainability as; ‘managing the triple bottom line – a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet’.”
Unfortunately, and according to a release issued by The Guardian, businesses are failing to work on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs), according to two new surveys, despite being billed as having a key role to play in achieving the ambitious goals. “The SDGs that are relevant to green business include good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, and life on land,” adds Coetzee.
According to the UN, the SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. “Here the key is partnership – the more businesses that get involved, the faster the goals can be achieved.”
2016 saw much action on climate change, both from the public sector and the private sector. From the Paris Agreement to the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons, decreased emissions from the airline industry and moves towards banning deforestation, it seemed we are on the right path. Yet uptake in Africa is still less than ideal, and it’s time for business to step up to sustainability in 2017.
Coetzee encourages businesses to take their sustainability efforts one step further, ensuring that they are communicated effectively, in order to encourage other businesses to follow suit – something that he is so passionate about, that he offers free consultations to determine how companies can decrease their environmental impact. “Sustainable Business Matters provides five tips on how to communicate sustainability. The keys are to communicate relevant information in an easily understandable and engaging format, showing a real and meaningful reflection of what is being done, and honesty is essential.”