WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS?

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IS WHAT WE CALL RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS. HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND IT?

Sustainable development is the ability to achieve global prosperity for present and future generations by combining environmental, economic and social aspects, within the limits of their impact and through successful business development.

Business is a critical component in achieving society’s well-being. The role of businesses is to find sustainable solutions combining environmental, social and economic aspects in their work practice. Business responsibility is, therefore: economic, social and environmental. It is measured in all three dimensions, not in individual actions or initiatives in one area. Business responsibility is the responsibility of the whole organisation for its impact on the environment: natural, economic and social, through its activities and relationships with stakeholders.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG)

The global economic landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade, and the role of businesses in sustainable development has become more important.

On 25 September 2015, more than 150 countries at the United Nations (UN) Summit endorsed the new ”Sustainable Development Goals”, which replaced the ”Millennium Development Goals”. The 17 goals and 169 targets set out concrete actions for developing countries and developed countries.

The range of actions in the SDGs covers all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The preamble refers to the five key elements of the new development agenda that will be the focus of action (the 5Ps – people, planet, prosperity, peace, partnership).

For more information on the SDGs, press here.

COOPERATION

Cooperation between consumers and the public sector is essential for business responsibility. Corporate responsibility is one of the EU’s strategic objectives to contribute to sustainable development principles and improve the competitiveness of businesses. Business responsibility is a strategic value not only for the EU but also for Lithuania.

It is recommended that companies seeking to develop responsible business conduct follow internationally recognised principles and guidelines: the principles of the UN ”Global Compact”, the ”ISO 26000” guidelines, and the ”Global Reporting Initiative” (GRI) guidelines.

The latter is considered the best methodology for disclosing non-financial corporate responsibility. The GRI, which includes principles and indicators, is the most widely used international initiative for organisations to assess and disclose their financial, environmental and social performance. LAVA recommends choosing either the UN or GRI methodologies.

For some companies, reporting on their non-financial responsibility has been mandatory since 2017, in line with EC Directive 2014/95 on disclosure of non-financial responsibility.