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Look beyond the horizon to boost sustainability

By 17th November 2016 Blog, Sustainability No Comments

Parliamentary rebuke of the Treasury contains a lesson on sustainability that businesses should heed too.

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling for the Treasury to “green-check” all its decisions after a major investigation into its approach found that it puts short term priorities over long term sustainability – potentially increasing costs to the economy in the future, and harming investor confidence.

Wow. Strong stuff.

In all fairness, this particular investigation was launched back in February, when the Treasury was still ruled by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and a lot has changed since then – so its findings may not be as applicable in the future.

But there’s a lesson in this for businesses too: putting short term gain over long term sustainability isn’t, er, sustainable.

To grow a business that is both operationally and environmentally sustainable means looking beyond the immediate horizon and considering what the landscape is going to look like in five, ten or even twenty years from now.

It inevitably means making changes now, and investing today for a healthy return tomorrow, not attempting to maintain the status quo just to report decent profits this year whilst risking a dip into the red a few years down the line.

There’s a lot to be said for integrating sustainability considerations into other key business decisions, giving it as much importance as finance, sales and marketing. Businesses with leaders that instinctively ‘get’ this can already be seen to be outcompeting their rivals – there’s no doubt that they’ll also be better prepared to face future challenges so that they can continue to survive and thrive.

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