Corporate Sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments.
Corporate sustainability leaders achieve long-term shareholder value by gearing their strategies and management to harness the market's potential for sustainability products and services while at the same time successfully reducing and avoiding sustainability costs and risks.
The quality of a company's strategy and management and its performance in dealing with opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments can be quantified and used to identify and select leading companies for investment purposes.
Leading sustainability companies display high levels of competence in addressing global and industry challenges in a variety of areas:
- Strategy: Integrating long-term economic, environmental and social aspects in their business strategies while maintaining global competitiveness and brand reputation.
- Financial: Meeting shareholders' demands for sound financial returns, long-term economic growth, open communication and transparent financial accounting.
- Customer & Product: Fostering loyalty by investing in customer relationship management and product and service innovation that focuses on technologies and systems, which use financial, natural and social resources in an efficient, effective and economic manner over the long-term.
- Governance and Stakeholder: Setting the highest standards of corporate governance and stakeholder engagement, including corporate codes of conduct and public reporting.
- Human: Managing human resources to maintain workforce capabilities and employee satisfaction through best-in-class organizational learning and knowledge management practices and remuneration and benefit programs.
Corporate sustainability performance is an investable concept. This is crucial in driving interest and investments in sustainability to the mutual benefit of companies and investors. As this benefit circle strengthens, it will have a positive effect on the societies and economies of both the developed and developing world.