Watch this space: Context Based Sustainability (CBS)

Posted by Nicola Stopps, Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

The terms “context-based” and “Sustainability Context” are accepted terminology for measurement and reporting that compare corporate impacts to social, economic, and environmental thresholds and foundations.

So when one considers the planetary boundaries concept, those limits “within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come,” according to the Stockholm Resilience Centre, it becomes clear that business activity plays a part in the unsustainable consumption of the world’s resources.

Equally ecological ceilings are mirrored by social foundations or minimum thresholds for supporting human well being, to which companies are fundamental .

In 2015, over 80 percent of S&P 500 companies issued sustainability reports, compared to 20 percent four years earlier. The annual increase of international investor interest in the reporting of sustainability factors by corporations has been significant.

In short, context not only matters – it is vital. It matters for corporate reporting, and for corporate commercial strategy planning.

Planetary Boundaries concept is key to context based sustainability

The planetary boundaries concept tells us that world only has so much oil and natural gas resources. So how can a company account for future input costs and for sustainable resource use if they don’t know how much is available? Companies are now expected by their stakeholders to help address these challenges, and context reporting is a key way of benchmarking and evidencing progress against environmental and societal impacts. This leads to true sustainability and fulfils ‘Do No Harm to Do Some Good Principles’.

Watch this space, because context based sustainability is THE must-have blueprint for CSR sustainability professionals to integrate into their business strategy.

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