Its key peoples mandate

Updated: Jul 1 2008, 03:28am hrs
Companies are under unprecedented scrutiny from governments, regulators, NGOs and customers in terms of how their business practices and operations impact on the environment, society and wider world. As a result sustainability is emerging as a key business issue that increasingly affects competitiveness and the bottomline.

In response to this development, corporates around the world are appointing senior executives at CXO level to further the cause of sustainable development and undertake reporting across the organisation.

According to Chris Tuppen, director of Sustainable Development at BT: Corporate business does not operate in isolation to the big challenges facing the world. These challenges include alleviating poverty, climate change and the skills needed to survive in a competitive marketplace. Together these are all embraced in the concept of sustainable development. Increasingly customers expect businesses to be active in helping to tackle these issues. And in a market economy the best way to make real change happen is through the marketplace. The role of a sustainability officer is to make all of this happen in ways that deliver a return to the business, to society and to the environment.

For Indian companies that seek to be recognised globally, sustainability reporting has become mandatory in order to attract foreign equity.

Arun Seth is chairman, BT India