One of the most important concepts in sustainable development is the concept of the three pillars. These are the environment, social, and economic factors that influence how sustainability is achieved. Without these elements, sustainability cannot be achieved.
The environmental pillar seeks to protect the natural resources of the planet and create a better quality of life for all. It encourages companies to invest in renewable energy sources and reduce the impact of pollution. This pillar also emphasizes the use of recycled products and other environmentally friendly practices.
The social pillar promotes social equality and the ability of individuals to achieve their full potential. It also promotes sound corporate governance, which ensures that the interests of consumers, shareholders, and the community are aligned.
The economic pillar is based on the company’s ability to contribute to economic growth. It is also related to good governance, risk assessment, and compliance with legislation. Most North American firms consider the economic pillar as essential for a successful business.
By implementing sustainable practices, a company can protect the environment, save money, and increase its profit margins. In fact, many companies are now implementing environmental management systems to reduce their ecological footprint.
In addition to the three pillars, businesses should also consider the triple bottom line, which emphasizes the economic, environmental, and social performance of a company. When a company incorporates these practices, it is easier to measure its progress towards improving these areas.
The United States has implemented ambitious policies such as the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce emissions from power plants. Canada has also invested heavily in renewable energy sources and is striving to reach net zero emissions by 2050.