Society’s expectations of both public and private sector organizations continue to expand and deepen. The concept of sustainable development provides a framework for responding to a significant number of these expectations. For the purpose of this standard sustainable development is taken to mean (an enduring, balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress.
A successful approach to managing sustainable development also helps ensure that an organization makes high quality decisions that promote continuing and lasting success. The long-term success of any organization will increasingly depend on the integration of economic, environmental andsocial performance into all aspects of operation. A coherent and comprehensive approach is needed to weigh and address the opportunities, pressures and constraints of operating in the modern world.
Organizations create value and are effective in diverse ways. A broad set of sustainable development drivers may impact performance across all organizations. The application of the guidance in this British Standard could be expected to continually improve performance along a path towards sustainable development. This is illustrated in Clause 5. Progress can be achieved through:
- Strengthening relationships –by demonstrating to stakeholders that the organization is operating in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way that will benefit them in the short and long term.
- Enhancing internal cohesion –by deepening the level of understanding of how the organization is performing among employees and using that information to improve the organization’s operations and decision-making processes.
- Developing trust and confidence – through transparency and accountability.
- Stimulating learning and innovation – by consideration of emerging opportunities through engagement of stakeholders.
- Understanding and managing the risks and opportunities – by systematically identifying,prioritizing and addressing relevant issues.