“Operational sustainability” is a method of evaluating whether a business can maintain existing practices without placing future potential resources at risk. Sustainability can refer to any one of a variety of areas, say ecological resources, social or economic resources.
“Sustainable Operations” can also be defined as operations that meet the present needs without compromising on the ability to meet future needs. Sustainable supply chain management is a subset of sustainable development focused on the development and management of the supply chain. The aim is to create supply chains that perform well economically, socially, as well as environmentally.
Business sustainability is often defined as managing the triple bottom line, a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet. Sustainable businesses are those businesses that can survive shocks because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems. These businesses create economic value and contribute to healthy ecosystems and strong communities.
Successful manufacturers understand that environmental responsibility not only meets the needs of the planet and wider society, it is also an integral part of the entire manufacturing value chain and delivers significant business opportunities and benefits.
Long-term strategies of business development and growth must consider economic sustainability. Should one business have a dramatic effect on the overall economic condition of one region, the effect not only hits the people in that region but the business’s ability to continue and prosper. Think about a city where a car factory is the center or the economy. If the factory closes, the city and its residents will find itself in economic strife.
Social sustainability refers to the ability of all persons in a community to access equal or similar resources. Often these are parts of city planning programs. Large companies seeking to develop large production plants or development centers might look to become involved in social sustainability, demonstrating an understanding of the basic needs of all residents.
Operational sustainability from the ecological standpoint refers to a company’s ability to use natural resources at its current pace without depleting the resources it relies upon. This can be a company perspective or an industry-wide perspective. Global ecoefficiency exists when delivering goods and services minimizes the effects on the environment. Ecological sustainability looks at a company’s use of natural resources, recycling and waste reduction through the production and sales process.