A Life-saving Sustainability Checklist You Wish You Had Sooner!
Published: 21 August 2021 (5 minutes reading)
The Sustainability Checklist for Corporate article is a comprehensive guide, focusing on 5 important areas with suggested policies and implementations. This checklist is to help ensure that your company is taking the necessary steps towards becoming more sustainable. The items of policy and implementation on the list are just a suggestion, you can add or skip any items that seems suitable with your company. The 5 important areas cover: corporate governance, risk management, environmental management, labor and human rights management, and social management
1. Corporate Governance
Corporate Governance is an effective internal control tool helping ensure that your company’s future is in the hands of the right people, making sure that CEOs and executives manage a corporation in the best interests of their stakeholders. Here are suggested policies and implementations for corporate governance:
Set the control policies which should cover important issues such as shareholders’ rights, the role of stakeholders, transparency of information disclosure, and responsibilities of the Board of Directors
•Set sustainable development/CSR policies
•Set guidelines for business ethics (Code of Conduct) that takes all stakeholders into consideration
•Evaluate the Board’s performance at least once a year
•Initiate a channel to communicate the Code of Conduct to all levels of executives and employees, for them to comply with continually
•Hold a Board of Directors meeting not less than 6 times per year. Each Board of Directors is required to attend the meeting not less than 75%
2. Risk Management
As we mentioned in the previous article that one of the key values that sustainability brings in is “reducing risks”. It is important for a company to have a risk management plan that is encompassing of the risks and the reduction of each of these risks in case of an unanticipated event or future potential events. Here are suggested policies and implementations for risk management:
•Establish an effective risk management policy covering economic, society, and environmental issues
•Include risk management policy as part of corporate strategy and business operations
•Establish a risk management approach, which should cover the supply chain, and should comply with international standard
•Prepare a systematic and efficient risk management process. according to international standards such as ISO31000, COSO, etc.
•Prepare a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to be adaptive to emergency situations that might affect business operations
•Assign a responsible person or department to oversee risk management. It could be the corporate strategy department, internal audit department, or establish a new risk management department, etc.
•Conduct a comprehensive risk analysis and assessment, which should include economic, societal, and environment aspects
3. Environmental Management
Environmental management is one of the core pillars of sustainability and you should have a plan in place that seeks to minimize your environmental footprint. This would be by having a comprehensive environmental policy, measuring and monitoring your footprint to ensure that you are reducing it over time, as well as putting in place an action plan for when you are above the accepted benchmark. Here are suggested policies and implementations for environmental management:
•Establish a policy that demonstrates a commitment to business operations with environmental responsibility
•Establish an environmental management plan related to the product, services and business operations such as energy usage, resources management, and waste treatment.
•Establish a clear quantitative goal for environmental management
•Assign a responsible person or department
•Prepare effective plans and processes to reduce energy and resources consumption
•Conduct a follow-up, evaluation, and measurement results on a regular basis
•Communicate and encourage employees and all stakeholders to involve in environmental management
4. Labor and Human Rights Management
How are labor and human rights management related to sustainability? Sustainable development is about creating an equitable and quality environment for all stakeholders, which is possible through employ and treat your employees fairly, ethically, and in a safe environment. It is important to show that respect towards other people by ensuring that their basic rights are being upheld. Here are suggested policies and implementations for labor and human rights management:
•Establish employment policies, compensation, welfare, and labor rights, equally and fairly
•Establish policies on employees’ rights to participate or negotiate with employers
•Establish policies and plans for employee skill development
•Establish a concrete process to prevent human rights violations within an organization
•Establish a channel for complaints about human rights violations
•Establish a plan to develop the potential and skills of employees such as training, seminar, etc.
•Conduct analysis and evaluation of employees’ performance at least once a year
•Collect employee training statistics for further analysis, and use the data for training improvement
•Record the safety or illness hours of employees to improve the working environment
5. Social Management
It is important to recognize that sustainable development is not possible without healthy communities. This is an area that is slowly being included in the concept of corporate responsibility. A company should be looking at how it can contribute to the community in a positive way on a regular basis. Here are suggested policies and implementations for social management:
•Establish policies and plans for customer responsibility such as providing information on products and services, maintain the confidentiality of customers, etc.
•Establish policies and plans for community engagement on issues related to sustainable development such as education, career development, etc.
•Conduct a study and evaluation of customer satisfaction with products and services regularly
•Make sure that products and services information message is clearly delivered to consumers through easily accessible communication channels
•Initiate activities or projects to promote participation within community
•Evaluate the performance of the initiated activities or projects regularly
In conclusion, there are many areas of sustainability that should be considered. The objective is to integrate all pillars of sustainability into a clear and well-defined plan, and constantly look for ways to improve and continue implementing this strategy.
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