Free «Sustainable Development» Essay
According to the article by “Institute for Sustainable Development(2006)” sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It continues to say that it contains within it two key concepts which include: the concept of needs in particular the essential needs of the world are poor to which overriding priority should be given. The other concept according to the article is the “idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environments ability to meet present and future needs” (Institute for Sustainable Development,2006)
Although there are number of differences in the common principles of achieving sustainable development, Hargroves & Smith (2005) stated that the company should address the following areas in a clear a concise manner. It is therefore the responsibility of the management to ensure the implementation of dealing cautiously with risk, uncertainty and irreversibility. They ensure appropriate valuation, appreciation and restoration of nature and environment in which they are operating in. They also ensure integration of environmental, social and economic goals in policies and activities (Hargroves & Smith, 2005).
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The article thus continues to say that all the definitions of sustainable development require us to see the world as a system that connects space and system that connects time. Thus we can formulate that the concept of sustainable development is rooted in a sort of systems thinking. It thus helps us to understand ourselves and our world, the problems we face which are sometimes complex, and at the same time problems which we can not address them in the same way we created them (“Introduction to sustainable development”, n.d). The staff should be committed and highly motivated to innovate for a healthy and meaningful future for this planet and its inhabitants.
The article “Introduction to sustainable development” further states that the diversity of our experiences and what sustainable development means in practical for people in different organizations. Some of the critical actions that can be taken by the company to enhance this aspect and ensure a good quality of life for people around us is to: revive growth, change the quality of growth, meet the essential needs and aspirations for jobs, conserve and enhance the resource base, reorient technology and manage risk, and more so include and combine environment and economics considerations in decision making (“Introduction to sustainable development”, n.d). This therefore calls us to change our actions and to do our things differently. Indeed the most important aspects are the aspect of differentiation in that the company can produce differently, consume and organize ourselves differently. All these aspects of doing things differently put the company in a state of progressing towards achieving sustainable development. It is therefore important that every member of the organization works towards achieving the above orients of sustainable development.
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The article further states that in order to achieve the aspect of producing differently the company should increase its efficiency and be committed in material reuse. The company must aim at joining the rest of the organizations who are eco-efficient. In this context we must thus deliver competitively priced goods and services that improve the quality of life of people. While this is still under consideration the management should strive to reduce ecological impacts and resource use intensity to the acceptable levels (“Introduction to sustainable development” n.d). The most important questions that we have to ask ourselves according to the article by Institute for Sustainable Development (2006) is how much more efficient we need to become, achieve the goal of quadruple resource productivity so that wealth is doubled, while at the same time halving resource use. Also the other aspect of in producing differently according to the article is “reducing the scale of polluting activities and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs, creating sustainable livelihoods, and ensuring that growth is qualitatively different than in the past”
The article “Introduction to sustainable development” (n.d ) further states that the implementation of sustainable development strategies confers a reduction in company’s risk. It is therefore a key factor for the shareholders and investors to put it into consideration in decision making. When this is put into consideration and the company works achieving sustainable strategies it will increasingly be attractive for investors. As the article further state “with industrial production on the rise, cleaner and more sustainable business practices must be implemented to avoid the negative experiences of the past. In this context the private sector is thus becoming one of the key stakeholders in sustainable development.
Consuming differently is another key aspect in sustainable development. Statistics show that World consumption has expanded at very high rate. The article states that consumption in itself is not bad because all living things must consume to maintain biological existence. The important areas as far as the company is concerned are the consumption levels, patterns and effects of consumption. The article thus states that the environmental and social impacts of consumption are being felt at both at local and global levels. Locally, the company should work at decreasing pollution and reducing the sense of its alienation within our communities. Thus “Globally, climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer are but two stark reminders of the impact of our consumption levels (“Introduction to sustainable development” n.d). The need to shift how we make decisions is very important as consumers. It is important to emphasize to the members of the organization to shift from thinking about the means to thinking about the ends.
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Policies must be developed that promote consumption patterns. This on the other hand helps to reduce our ecological footprint while at the same time meeting the needs of all people to enjoy a good quality of life. According to Keijzers (2004) much emergent evidence shows that consumption is at least as important to the environment as is population. It thus states that we have to change our “outlook in the coming decades in order to find ways to consume less, to consume more discriminatingly, to consume more efficiently and hence enjoy richer lifestyles” (Keijzers, 2004).
In addition Hargroves & Smith (2005) suggests that sustainable development should not be left to the government alone, while the citizens should not believe that they can simply wait for change and blame the government if it does not come. In the real sense it is the interaction and engagement of all of the sectors in society that should work towards achieving sustainable development. It should therefore be a collective responsibility spanning from the top management of the company to the junior staff. With this realization the company should also extent the same understanding to the surrounding environments.
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The other important drive towards the achievement of sustainable development is how people organize themselves. The company should establish rules that govern the actions of all its employees. This further plays a major role in determining whether the company moves towards more sustainable paths. The management should at the same time commit itself towards good governance, reform decision making processes to allow the participation of the rest of staff members within the company. According to the article “Introduction to sustainable development” this will on the other hand help establish good pathways for sustainable development within the company, enhance understanding and relationships, and increase eagerness to participate leading to better implementation of decisions.
Therefore Hargroves & Smith (2005) stated that when approaching towards sustainable development the company should be able to solve their problems, including the participation by all staff members. This therefore means working and taking decisions together. The important of this is empowerment and at the same time it reduces corruption and misuse of power for personal interests. Through reorganizing ourselves the company will expand its understanding of appropriate technologies that can be used in achieving sustainable development. It is also important to note that achieving sustainable development requires an increase of income of the company hence the management must find alternative types of systems that provide high levels of productivity and meaningful work (“Introduction to sustainable development”).
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Keijzers (2004) found out that it is important to analyze some of the key aspects to improve the internal strategy of development of enterprises. These include systematic investigation of the ecological and business horizon of the company, ensure systematic charting of regular business relations and stakeholders of the firm and identify potential new players in the market. He further notes that the company should perform strategic investigation of sources of potential value creation, allowing attention not only for not only eco-efficiency but also cost savings. The management should focus on potential development ecologically and economically besides ensuring production of superior products that are purely green. Above all Keijzers (2004) suggests that development of internal organizations structure that allows the full integration of the producers towards attaining sustainable development.
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Companies should design criteria’s for business investment strategies which would help them gradually become sustainable enterprises. Keijzers (2004) suggests the steps that a company can follow to achieve sustainable development which can include firstly signaling their intention. This involves a change of the frame work and not just improving the old models. The second step is enriching the investment criteria by adding the required inherent ecological soundness of new products and production technologies.
Innovation is the third step according to Keijzers (2004) towards achieving sustainable development. The management should recognize the opportunities of new markets especially in the emerging poor economies. Rematerializing aims at making products with no harmful substances that can be safely recycled.
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Hargroves & Smith (2005) continue to say that conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity is essential component in realization of sustainable development. The company should also be committed to best practice and practice the principle of continuous development. These two aspects ensure that the company not only achieves sustainable development but also that it achieves a cutting edge in the today’s competitive business environment. Hargroves & Smith (2005) further state that these concepts bring together the idea of sustaining some things and changing other things for the better in order to improve the condition of people and maintain the tings we depend on.
When organizations concentrate on environmental, social and economic issues there is indeed a big probability that they will achieve sustainable development. Hargroves & Smith (2005) indicated that continuity and change, means and ends combine in interesting but practical ways to achieve sustainability of the things that the society uses and values. Thus they said in order to sustain things we value ethically, we need massive innovation hence change in other parts of society means to achieve the sustainability goal (Hargroves & Smith, 2005). If the company is able to sustain the things they value then logically it is vital that the company achieves sustainable development. It is that important to approach sustainable development goals with a very practical mind set, in which every one understands that sustainability goals are goals to be achieved with no major trade-offs.
In conclusion leadership of a company in sustainable development should define a new business logic. Schmandt & Ward (2000) stated that there must be great concerns from the top management to ensure conventional corporate strategic concerns about time, quality, cost reduction, distribution and critical staffing issues. They thus continue to say that with these factors in place one can begin to see the emergence of sustainable development within the corporate environment. Schmandt & Ward (2000) indicated that sustainable development should be guided by proper training across the company in order to provide a good environment and background for its implementation.