Monday, December 18, 2017

Israel puts forth a new definition of sustainable business

At a conference this past November, major businesses put forth a new way of thinking about sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR). Rather than the vague notion that businesses can do well by doing good, they are now thinking in terms of innovating for a good life and linking to the U.N. Sustainability Development Goals.

“We chose the theme of Innovation for Good Life, because we believe that this is the essence of CSR today: the way businesses contribute to good life”, said Momo Mahadav, Maala’s CEO. “I believe that this is the step forward from discussing whether businesses are good or bad or whether they mean right or wrong. The question of good life is more concrete and could be measured in terms of the value that businesses create”.
CSR (sometimes also referred to as Corporate Responsibility which implies it’s not just about social issues) and sustainability/sustainable business are similar concepts but not precisely the same.  CSR encourages business to use their power to make the world better, but there are no science-based targets. Make the world better without any clarity of when we’re done, when we’ve done enough, when we’ve succeeded.  That’s what sustainability brings. There’s a difference between striving to make the world less bad vs striving to reach a point where people have a good life within the limits of nature. For that reason, I find sustainability a better standard than CSR.

However in Israel, it appears at least some businesses are linking to the Sustainable Development Goals which goes a long way toward addressing this deficiency of CSR. In the end, it doesn’t matter what we call it as long as we are using science-based targets to understand what we’re aiming for.

No comments:

Post a Comment