As defined by Lexicon, business sustainability is described as managing the triple bottom line – a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet. In recent times business sustainability has been a growing phenomenon. Today, more than 90 percent of CEOs state that sustainability is important to their company’s success, and companies develop sustainability strategies, market sustainable products and services, create positions such as chief sustainability officer, and publish sustainability reports for consumers, investors, activists, and the public at large.
Ten years from now, some of the trends and realizations that will shape the green sustainability of businesses will include:
- The achievement of near-universal acceptance of the reality of anthropogenic climate change and the need to do something about it.
- Continued awareness of the need to address resilience in addition to sustainability
- Rising topic surrounding the transition from a growth economy to a steady-state economy
- Removal of both direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies
- Eliminate fossil fuels in all new buildings
- Upgrading of the energy performance of existing buildings
- Codification of passive survivability in buildings
- Incorporation of energy storage into buildings
- Advancements and support in the integrative processes of building designs
- Eradication of toxic and carbon-intensive materials out of buildings
- Integration of social equity into a more explicit part of green building
What all these trends mean for the future of sustainability and businesses is that the economic arguments for green buildings will be at the forefront of business sustainability. It will not merely be a green movement adhered to by few, but a regulation for all in order to sustain the future of businesses. Business sustainability has come a long way, but the journey is not yet complete until there is total integration.