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How do I Choose the Best Sustainable Strategy?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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The term sustainable strategy is used to describe any plan to maintain an existing resource or process over a period of time. Although the concept itself is fairly generic, it is most commonly identified with the environmental movement. In this context, a sustainable strategy is one that minimizes the waste of the Earth’s resources. A strategy is an action plan used to meet a specific goal. The strategy can be complex, involving a myriad of resources and challenges, or quite simple.

When selecting items to include in a sustainable strategy, it is important to consider all aspects of your operation or business. Look at material coming into and leaving the firm. Think about how the products or services your firm provides use natural resources. Talk to staff about the options available to refine business processes for minimal impact on the environment.

It is important to note that the sustainable strategy is only viable if the business is still profitable. It is possible to create a product that has no environmental impact, but has prohibitively high production costs. This is not sustainable, as the primary purpose of a business is to make money. Balancing these two factors is critical to the success of any endeavor.

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An example of a sustainable strategy is fishery management. The government monitors the levels of a particular type of fish over a period of time. Permits to catch the fish include limits on the numbers and locations allowed. These values are adjusted each year to ensure the fish population is able to withstand any diseases that may occur and to repopulate in sufficient numbers to be sustainable in the long run. The absence of a sustainable strategy can result in overfishing and the potential loss of the fish species, as the community becomes too small to repopulate.

Starting in the 1990s, the environment has become a high profile cause. Many firms and organizations have developed strategies to reduce waste and save limited resources. The implementation of a sustainable strategy may include adding paper recycling stations to the workplace, reducing the packaging material used in manufacturing, and minimizing truck idle time.

Sustainable development in the construction industry is an excellent example of some of the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. Buildings are designed to be as efficient as possible with heating, cooling, and lighting. Insulation, new materials, and different building practices are used to reduce waste and create a product that uses a minimal amount of natural resources to operate.

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