Featured Columns

Sustainable business goes mainstream

Ann White | BIZ Buzz | 2016-04-15

In February 2016 Sustainable Biz Canada opened here at SustainbleBiz.ca to provide news, information and commentary about sustainability issues for business professionals in Canada.

SustainableBiz.ca is modeled after the Real Estate News Exchange (RENX) owned and operated by the same company, Squall Inc. RENX has provided a structure for an online news service that combines curated and original content with a built in advertising program.

While real estate is a long established industry in Canada and around the World, sustainability is a relatively new concept that has emerged from the environmental movements drive to address the negative consequences of climate change.

Sustainability has evolved to have a much broader meaning that is specifically inclusive of business. It is being used in reference to a commitment to environmental and social issues as well as transparent, accountable governance practices by business and corporations.

The introduction, acceptance and increasing requirement that companies provide corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports is clear indication that sustainability is becoming mainstream business practice.

The establishment of organizations that measure ‘non-monetary’ aspects of corporate performance; the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Global Reporting Initiative, the Green Building Councils and The Wellness Institute is another sign of the emergence of an economic sector of ‘business sustainability’.

As accreditations and programs offered by these organizations become integrated into business operations in parallel with bookkeeping and accounting for money, they are gradually establishing credibility on par with traditional financial reporting.

Hiring of professionals as sustainability directors, a position that was virtually non-existent 10 years ago, is another indication that a sustainability industry is taking shape.

Pursuit of sustainable business is also now considered as a source of badly needed jobs created through the introduction of newer ‘clean technologies’ and progressive business practices.

In 2015 there was a renewed commitment by Canadians to take positive action to establish more sustainable environmental, social and governance policies, practices and programs, evident in the recent election of Federal Liberal government sympathetic to the cause, and acceptance of climate change goals at the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015.

The Real Estate News Exchange (RENX) has been an entirely online news service since it opened in 2001 a decision made in part to avoid the environmental impact on forests of printing. Most of the changes mentioned above have taken place since RENX was launched.

The opening of Sustainable Biz Canada is the next logical step toward fulfilling our corporate commitment to sustainability in 2016.

Ann White
Publisher and CEO
RENX.ca, SustainableBiz.ca

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