Want to get your business to
consider sustainability, but don’t know how?
Try talking to them about risk.
That’s the advice of Professor Andrew Douglas from the University of the West of England. Addressing buyers at the Sustainable Purchasing & Supply Summit in London last month as he helped launch the CIPS Sustainability Index, Douglas said people now see the sustainability agenda as a way of managing risk.
“Linking them together as your initial premise
for doing something different resonates extremely quickly in most organisations,” he said.
Just days after he highlighted the connection, tragedy struck – again – when the eight-storey
Rana Plaza garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, collapsed
. This happened only months after a fire devastated
the Tazreen factory in the
same country. Around 500
people lost their lives in
these two incidents alone.
Big name brands connected – knowingly or otherwise – to these factories have since issued statements about what they intend to do to support the families of those who died and how they will put measures in place to prevent future tragedies.
As Adam Leach points out in this issue’s
, it is the failings or perceived failings that tend grab the headlines more than
the good work done by organisations under
the broad term of sustainability, which is why
risk is key.
And we know risk is on the agenda of your finance chiefs. I recently attended a conference hosted by
The Economist at which financial directors from all sectors shared their concerns about managing all the potential risks that can
hit a business – reputational and financial impacts being just two of them.
Generally seen as covering social, environmental and economic criteria in purchasing decisions – corporate social responsibility by another name – sustainability is gaining momentum.
Ensure your organisation doesn’t get left behind.