Opportunities and challenges for companies and government organisations

What is sustainability? The essence of sustainability is that it provides due consideration to future generations by combining three subject areas: people, planet and profit.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means that enterprise is sustainable. Sustainability may sometimes seem to be a hype, an all-embracing container concept. This is probably because it is used in many divergent areas. To provide better insight into the container concept, the main themes involved are shown below for the categories People, Planet and Profit.

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First-order and Second-order Profit

Sustainability directly influences the financial performance of companies. First-order profit is concerned with the link between saving money (cost reduction) and the sustainable use of resources and the environment. Second-order profit is concerned with earning money (increasing revenue) and the sustainable use of scarce resources and the environment.

First-order Profit
Second-order Profit

Saving on internal energy consumption leads to lower energy costs

Developing a new, more sustainable product
for customers or end customers

Saving on the internal need for materials
leads to lower cost of materials

Developing a new, more sustainable service
for customers or end customers

In some instances, recycling of materials
is cheaper than producing new materials

Assuming a new role in closing the chain
(extraction, separation or recovery) as a means
of earning money.

These themes run throughout the entire chain. To achieve sustainable improvements, companies will have to look (even more) beyond the borders of their own organisation and collaborate with other chain players. In fact, chains are becoming circles.

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Opportunities and challenges for government organisations

As a municipality, province, district water board, healthcare institution, housing corporation or educational institution, you are at the centre of society. Besides fulfilling a social function, you are expected to work in a financially responsible manner, showing respect for people and the environment. In other words, Socially Responsible Enterprise. Berenschot can help you contribute to current social issues and strive for sustainable growth. We do so on the basis of the ISO 26000 standard for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).


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