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Think Sustainability; Building Sustainable Businesses

Introduction

Several reasons underscore the crucial importance of businesses prioritizing sustainability. One significant factor is the growing recognition of the pivotal role organizations’ often play in shaping societal values and addressing global challenges. Companies are increasingly acknowledging the necessity of integrating sustainability into their operations deviating from the traditional ideal which was entirely centered on profit making. For example, recently, the Lagos and Abia State Governments banned the sale and distribution of single use styrofoam packs within their States, and almost in lock step, the House of Representatives have called on the Federal Government to enact similar bans across the country. This signifies the emergence of stricter regulations aimed at fostering a culture of environmental sustainability at the state and national levels. In the same manner, TotalEnergies, a prominent Nigerian energy giant, has announced its intention to divest its minority shares in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in alignment with its policies on health, security, and environmental sustainability . This strategic divestment will enable the company to realign its portfolio with a focus on developing low-cost and low-emission projects, further emphasizing the imperative for businesses to embrace sustainability initiatives.

Why Sustainability

The term sustainability is understood as the capability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. As an all-encompassing concept, proponents of sustainable development place emphasis on environmental stewardship, resource conservation, climate change mitigation, social equity, economic resilience, health and well-being, consumer preferences, and long-term viability, including innovation and competitiveness. Inevitably, regulatory bodies have turned their attention to companies, enacting policy guidelines that seek to entrench the theme of sustainability in running or managing the affairs of a company. As Peter Drucker opines in his book ‘The Practice of Management’, “what is most important is that management realizes that the impact of every business policy and business action upon society must be considered…

 

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