Sustainability in business refers management of socioeconomic and ecological risks, mandates, and opportunities in order to ensure a healthy planet now and in the future. Sustainability is the ability to maximize opportunities while at the same time minimizing the negative impact the business has on the surrounding environment, society, and economies, the focus is to enhance the creation of economic worth, contribute to healthy ecologies, and strong societies. This is a pertinent topic that must be visited and delved into since there is a need to safeguard the future and avert the possibility of depletion of natural resources or overexploitation of available natural resources which could result in dire effects on the ecosystem. If not checked, businesses may disregard the future for present profits and therefore rendering this topic one of the important discourses currently. Various national and international agencies have enacted policies meant to compel companies to adhere to sustainability. This paper presents a review of four of the available literature researches on sustainability and provides an intricate analysis of suitability strategies and recommendations.
The different articles being analyzed herein in this literature review presents varied perspectives on sustainability, each with a different aim in sustainability in business. Gaplin and Herald (2015) aim at providing a comparison between what business founders say concerning sustainable practices when they are establishing versus what they actually do while in business. The purpose of Høgevold and Svensson’s (2011) journal is to define a sustainability model which is based on a European manufacturing instance study. Teh and Corbitt’s (2015) journal explore the degree and nature of eco-sustainability guideline and stratagem implemented by the 200 firms in the Australian Securities Exchange centering on the way the guideline and stratagem are implemented and also the sinews for this implementation. On the other hand, Peter White’s (2009) research paper presents a case study on the way a large international firm with international brands and many employees is creating sustainability into its regular business operations above and beyond its investment ventures to include incorporating sustainability in entirely all of its major operations.
The various researchers in this literature review have employed different methodologies in their studies. The methodology used in Galpin and Hebard (2015) involved conducting an opinion survey on potential business founders who intend to start their businesses while examining the objectives of their business plans and using the same to determine whether their assertions of sustainability plans are what they practice. Høgevold and Svensson (2011) use a case study scheme of a Norwegian producer’s office to describe the efforts of sustainability in its supply chain networks found by interviewing top management of the firm numerously and in addition analyzing the observations and findings of documents within and outside the firm on the firm’s efforts towards sustainability.
Teh and Corbitt (2015) used interviews as a methodology to come to their findings where senior management of a number of Australian Securities Exchange was interviewed and data analyzed by interpretative approach particularly applying the 7S of McKinsey scheme. On the other hand, Peter White (2009) used a case study of Procter & Gamble to describe how the firm has processed it has undergone to define sustainability stratagems and objectives, gained global repute, enacted sustainability in its operations, and increased its goals for the future besides integrating sustainability in each of their organizational units. While the former 3 pieces of research employed interviews with the respective preferred companies in their methodology, the latter studied the operations of a company so as to attain its findings.
Findings of the studies
The above research bore varied findings. Teh and Corbitt (2015) found that strategy was the epicenter and the most significant factor for a company’s eco-sustainability and not every dimension of sustainability while White (2009) views experience in the implementation of sustainability as an important aspect in comprehending sustainability and its significance, elucidating how to implement sustainability, and in strategizing how it is enacted. Høgevold and Svensson (2011) found that sustainability in business is not merely undertaking a single thing but rather corroborating many efforts not only within the business operations environment but rather entirely on the whole supply chain network.
Galpin and Hebard (2015) find that potential businessmen with startups place importance on sustainability practices albeit their business models are not a representation of their proposed pertinence of sustainability. Teh and Corbitt (2015) differ from Høgevold and Svensson (2011) in that they do not view every aspect of sustainability practices as important, unlike the latter who posits that each and every aspect of sustainability must be taken into consideration if sustainability is to be attained which agrees with White (2009). Even though the findings are different, the recommendations presented by the researchers are intertwined in one way or the other.
Recommendations or discussion
White (2009) posits various strategies for attaining sustainability including sustainable innovations and incorporation of environmental values in business profiles and commencing sustainability programs among others. Teh and Corbitt 2015) recommend incorporating sustainability not as a stand-alone project but wholly into every business operation. Høgevold and Svensson (2011) recommend focusing on the natural environment so as to attain more profits. Galpin and Hebard (2015) recommend educating and encouraging startup entrepreneurs so that they apply sustainability in their businesses. There are discrepancies in the recommendations since they have not provided an all-inclusive program for both existing and startups to fully incorporate sustainability practices.
In conclusion, whilst these researches have delved into issues in sustainability practices in business environments, there is a wide gap that exists between what sustainability will offer to the business that is yet to be implored. Various corporations may fail to see the economic value that sustainability portends for their firms. From these studies, however, it can be concluded that a number of organizations have applied sustainability all the same, without proper knowledge of sustainability but rather since it is seen as a mandate for any organization, as enforced by various agencies put in place to oversee its implementation. However, if the recommendations given in these studies are undertaken, then it is no doubt that a milestone in sustainability will have been achieved. Proper education on sustainability ought to be conducted not only by the top management but also by all employees to attain sustainability.