There are numerous ways to define sustainability. We won’t take part in this debate, as everyone will have their own definition of what they consider sustainable. However, the most common one is people, planet, profit a.k.a. taking social, environmental as well as economic aspects into account when making decisions as opposed to only financial growth.
To make this more concrete and pragmatic, a number of topics can be distinguished based on the frameworks described:
- human rights;
- labour practices;
- fair operating;
- customer issues; and,
- community involvement.
Of course, there are many other classifications possible, but this one is very comprehensive and credible, as it is based on the ISO 26000 and the GRI. Learn how the subjects from these two leading frameworks can be linked through this linkage document.
Any of these topics can be relevant, although the extent will differ for each company. Moreover, the topics are related to each other, so it would be good to consider them holistically.
To make these topics more concrete and actionable issues have been defined for each topic. These will be described per topic. It is good to be aware that these issues can be dynamic.