Sustainability can be defined as being capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment. This idea of longevity is often broken down into the “three pillars” of social, environmental and economic sustainability. Sustainability can impact all the areas of operation within a company including manufacturing, distribution, development, and support functions. All entities including employees, supply chain partners, customers, investors and stakeholders involved in a company’s operations should understand the importance of achieving and establishing sustainability. Creating a successful sustainability and implementation strategy is an important factor to a company’s financial success. Sustainability is about looking after things now, so our future generations can enjoy it later. Sustainability is also concerned with relationships and how the different aspects of the earth system unite in order to best work together.
Your personal views on sustainability.
An increased growth of industrial activities in the past has led to natural resources being depleted at a rate that is faster than the rate of restoration. There is also a growing recognition that the effects of climate change will continue to drive up the cost and the demand for health services around the world. Rising temperatures will increase the need for the use of air conditioning; rising sea levels will put coastal hospitals at risk of flooding; changing weather patterns and damaging natural disasters will increase demands for services. If this trend continues, most of the admired companies will be forced to close. Growth of businesses will always be dependent on the resources available. And if there are no resources, there really will be no business to do anywhere. Sustainability is crucial for financial success, and if not followed correctly could cause legal trouble, impact stock prices, impact sales and ability to continue to produce products, and even the ultimate downfall of a corporation. Companies that do implement sustainability into their operations have to continue to improve their processes and practices to grow in their “do good” commitments.
How you think sustainability fits within health care?
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, material inequality, overpopulation, and resource depletion all have an impact on how health care organizations are managed and organized. These issues have led to numerous health care crises such as increased chronic disease diagnoses, increasing costs to provide health care, increased carbon use, and, in some cases, a lack of compassion. From an economical stand point the organization is tapping into a booming market (going green market) that will translate into profits. People are leaning towards products for the mere fact that an organization is doing its part to preserve the environment, which also makes them feel socially responsible by purchasing these products. From a social standpoint, the organization is providing a positive influence for other companies as well as consumers to follow suit in terms of being sustainable. Applying sustainability into any health care organization can save money, improve health outcomes, decrease carbon use and improve our environment. As a result of environmental changes, the health sector is facing an unprecedented scale of change that will require public, private and non-governmental organizations to come together to identify and develop innovative solutions in order to make available resources work harder towards creating a sustainable model of health.