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Why every 2024-2030 strategy needs a Sustainability component

If your business is not sustainable, it will not sustain! 

If you read today’s press or listen to the daily media, you can’t get around the SUSTAINABILITY topic.  As a leader in todays business you may question WHY this has become such an important topic. In this short article we’ll give you 5 good reasons why every 2024 strategy and beyond should have a SUSTAINABILITY component. 


50 Years of recent history 

Sustainability has been around for a while. In 1987  the World Commission on Environment and Development’s led by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland issued ‘Our Common Future’ (1987) where Sustainable development was defined as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This definition nicely introduces the idea that we borrow the planet from our next generations, so we should hand it back in same or better state than how we received it. 

More recently in 2015 – the UN issued it’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for 2030. The fact that all UN members signed up to achieve a commonly agreed goal is more important then then the exact goal itself. For the first time Sustainable Development Goals included much more then just protecting the Planet and the Climate. It also included topics like Education, Diversity, Innovation, Peace, …It covered Environmental, Social and Governance topics which led to the commonly used ESG-abbreviation as an equivalent for Sustainability. 


Sustainability within today’s context : from Shareholder profit to Stakeholder Welfare 

As a result of the introduction of the SDG’s, businesses understood that Sustainable leadership means more than just taking care of the planet.   

In the ‘70s Milton Friedman was awarded a Noble Prize with his 1970 Friedman Doctrine stating that  “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits”, arguing that “a company has no social responsibility to the public or society; its only responsibility is to its shareholders”. Today this vision has completely shifted from solely focusing on ‘Shareholder Profit Maximization’ to focus on ‘Stakeholder Welfare Optimization’. A business is ‘good’ when everyone who touches or gets touched by it, benefits from it.  


So why should I include SUSTAINABILITY in my business strategy?
Let us give you 5 good reasons: