The planet is everybody’s stakeholder

Society = The Planet
PostedMarch 06, 2013, in  Step 8: sustainable society
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Sustainability is about creating the kind of world we want for ourselves, our neighbours, and future generations. It challenges us to live our lives and make decisions as individuals, organizations and societies so that we make sure that future generations have access to the same opportunities and quality of life that we do. How do we get there?  

Shared Value

In 2013 sustainability plays an increasingly important role. 'Creating Shared Value', that is what it is about these days: "The concept of Shared Value - which focuses on the connections between societal and economic progress - has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth." The thinking is that every business is part of society and therefore has a role to play in societal development. By understanding these developments and examining how a company can make a positive contribution, shared value is created that benefits both the company and society.

Planet stakeholder (Illustration Ivo van Leeuwen)


The challenge lies in recognizing the stakeholder groups within in the ‘society category’. Focus quickly is put on local communities, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and universities. Still we insufficiently realize that 'our planet', which is threatened by pollution, destruction and overconsumption of raw materials, is an important stakeholder of us all. This is crucial piece of awareness when designing a global durable balance between the interests of companies, people and the environment (people, planet, profit).  

Cost reduction

It is a noble aim, but to date, the focus of sustainability in organizations is mainly relating to measures that increase efficiency: less waste, less transport and less resources. These objectives have one thing in common: cost reduction. There is nothing wrong with that, but this is different from taking responsibility for the entire product, from raw materials suppliers to the end consumers.  

The Natural Step

Our planet is at the center of The Natural Step (TNS) Framework. TNS is a tool for strategic sustainable development that uses a '5-layer framework'.

The Natural Step: Unsustainable Society

To prevent that organizations get lost in the details of problems, TNS looks at the causes 'upstream' on planet level. Through the method of 'backcasting from sustainability principles' a sustainability strategy is developed. Sustainability is a complex issue. To make sure the actions resulting from the sustainability strategy are realised, the TNS Framework is best used in conjunction with other tools. In my next post I will discuss the use of the EFQM model in relation with The Natural Step Framework.

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PostedMarch 06, 2013, in Step 8: sustainable society
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