Wong, L. and Avery, G.C. 2013.
Creating sustainability in organizations: Beyond being green.
Chapter 3 in Westover, J.H. Socially Responsible and Sustainable Business around the Globe: The New Age of Corporate Social Responsibility.
This is a reprint of a paper that the authors published in 2009: Transforming organisations towards sustainable practices. International Journal of the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 4(1), 397-408.
Ling Wong, an experienced executive who has dedicated herself to helping others achieve sustainable leadership, calls for a completely different way of thinking for businesses seeking to be sustainable.
We are delighted that this paper has been selected to appear in an edited volume of papers on socially responsible business.
Sustainability in organisations is not just about addressing social responsibility or meeting triple bottom line criteria to maximise shareholders’ short-term interests. This paper proposes that sustainability can only be created when business leaders transform the way they currently think, challenge economic myths, and adopt a systematic and holistic view.
This will generate a philosophy of leadership that embraces a set of sustainable values and principles. Sustainable practices will become embedded in corporate strategies, balancing hard and soft goals for the long-term interests of multiple stakeholders. To execute such sustainable strategies well, demands a culture of enrichment, trust, shared values, professionalism and collegiality, learning, innovation and communitarianism.
Sustainability in organisations is created when all three components – leadership, corporate strategies and culture – reinforce each other for the long-term benefit of multiple stakeholders.