When you think about a sustainable future, do you think about people first? The actions of humans on our planet can be a catalyst for positive change. Organizations thinking and acting in a socially sustainable way can help to empower much-needed transformation in how we care for the planet and society.
Engaging the people at the heart of a business can be one of the most powerful ways to tackle social sustainability challenges. By finding out what is important to them, your employees can play a valuable part in creating positive change.
Investing in social sustainability strategies is good for both the organization and the people within it. From addressing organizational purpose to ensuring ethical supply chains, there are several ways an organization can invest in its social sustainability.
Investing in organizational purpose
According to McKinsey, 62% of surveyed employees know that their organization has a purpose statement. But without the right investment in developing organizational purpose, an organization can potentially fail its employees and wider society because the intentions behind their actions can be unclear. Being a purpose-driven organization (PDO) allows you to focus on contributing to a sustainable future by investing in its people.
But organizational purpose needs to be backed by action. Research has found that two thirds of consumers would ditch organizations found to be using “purpose wash,” that is, words without deeds.
When organizations invest in their purpose, they will also be investing in their people, their actions, and the positive value they can contribute to both their organization and wider society.
Eradicating modern slavery
Regardless of the organization's size or type at the top of the chain, supply chains face a range of ethical challenges. Modern slavery poses a significant risk to the individuals within these supply chains, both on a local and global scale. Ensuring an ethical supply chain involves addressing and eliminating modern slavery comprehensively.
Eradicating modern slavery means supply chains can be free of exploitation, violence, or coercion, and removes the threat of people-trafficking or forced labour.
Additionally, focusing on people's well-being can not only improve quality control but also give organizations a competitive advantage.
Collaboration for social sustainability
When it comes to collaboration, investors want to do business with organizations that value sustainable and socially responsible practices. It makes good business sense for organizations to prioritize their socially sustainable investments so they can attract more collaborators. After all, creating change takes time and effort, and collaboration may be key in achieving those goals.
Accelerating progress towards a sustainable world
Centering the people in an organization and considering the people throughout an organization’s supply chain can have a positive impact on both them and the wider business. The collaboration, knowledge and expertise BSI can provide to help organizations invest in socially sustainable strategies will help to move towards a sustainable future for everyone.
BSI has developed guidance (BS 25700), supported by key partners including the Slave-Free Alliance and representatives from Survivor Alliance, to support organizations in understanding and managing the risk of modern slavery. The guidance is free to access and relevant to organizations of all sizes from all sectors, helping them to report through the right mechanisms to play their part in eradicating modern slavery
BSI is also helping organizations to embed purpose into their decision-making through a globally applicable standard that describes a PDO and how they can align their actions with their purpose (PAS 808:2022), a globally applicable standard that describes a PDO and how they can align their actions with their purpose. Explore the range of solutions BSI offers to support your organization in defining and realizing its purpose.