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Christina Herden

Creating Harmony between Planet, People, and Prosperity
Christina Herden Global Head of Sustainability | February 5, 2021
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It's difficult to even begin to describe the critical issues that the world is experiencing. With restricted activities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, global citizens are facing an endless list of problems, ranging from climate change and imbalances in the natural ecosystem to lack of healthcare and food supplies, and limited access to quality education.

As global citizens, it dawns on us to hold a collective responsibility and strike a balance between our social and natural ecosystems. Creating and sustaining harmony is important for an organization's growth and encompasses dimensions other than simply generating revenues. With the world under constant threats due to unsolicited human interference, it is becoming ever-more crucial for companies to integrate strategies that adopt a sustainable approach.

What does creating harmony mean?

Creating harmony entails the creation of a balance between profits, planet, and people by measuring one's present actions and their impact on future generations' needs. It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to understand and enable collaborations that encourage innovation, technological developments, and entrepreneurship to foster an environment that causes minimal damage to the ecosystem. This calls for a fundamental change in an organizations' behavior to integrate sustainability goals in their agendas and measure their growth not only in terms of profit but also in terms of the impacts their operations leave on the environment and the stakeholders involved.

Creating harmony entails the creation of balance between profits, planet, and people by measuring one's present actions and their impact on future generations' needs

With environmental threats looming at every corner, it is time for organizations to step up and adopt strategies that contribute towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as defined by the United Nations.

Triple Bottom Line Dimensions

Triple Bottom Line is a term that brings the three elements essential in creating harmony together in a sustainability framework to measure an organization's impact on the social and natural environment. Triple Bottom Line companies have integrated this framework into their processes and strategies to expand their definition of 'profit' also to encompass the social and environmental footprints that the organization leaves.

The three essential elements in creating harmony

Profit

An organization's work mission is not limited to creating opportunities to generate profits, sales, and good margins but should also encapsulate the positive and negative impact an organization's leaves on the social and natural environment and the global economy. To maintain this balance, businesses need to balance their footprint and move away from their stand-alone perspective of measuring profit as the revenue generated by the shareholders and extend it to sustain the community as a collective.

People

With the devastating breakout of the pandemic, the world is changing faster than ever. Stakeholders now need to add to their mission of generating a profit and expanding their business a sense of social responsibility and better collaboration. Efforts should be made to give the well-being of their customers, employees, and communities equal importance.

Organizations need to focus on providing long-term contracts and developmental opportunities to their employees to promote better quality jobs and close any income gaps that exist. The responsibility also falls equally on government and society to expand access to basic education and healthcare.

With new innovations and inventions forging into areas such as education, health, and climate change, organizations need to make sure that professional career opportunities are distributed proportionally and decrease inequality and discrimination in every possible way.

Planet

There is no doubt that people's actions have a direct effect on the environment, evident by the discourses on climate change and environmental degradation that are quickly coming to the forefront. With resources that had been so readily available for consumption now dwindling due to overutilization, organizations are slowly shifting their approach towards reducing waste (including dumping grounds), lowering energy consumption, and decreasing greenhouse emissions. There is a need to adopt recycling and upcycling methods that restore the damage and reduce a company's carbon footprint. Removing single-use plastics is a great start that every single person can play a large part in. This is a collective responsibility for all stakeholders.

Triple Bottom Line Companies recognize that adopting sustainable methods and strategies reduce their footprint on the ecosystem and can provide more profit in the long run. They analyze every process involved in their organization's life cycle to minimize the negative impact on the environment by reducing energy usage, adopting renewable sources of energy, and disposing of toxic waste responsibly.

How to create harmony in a well-sustained manner?

The responsibility of striking a balance between profits, people, and planet lies with all stakeholders that are affected by the current misbalance. While governments and organizations frame the pillar of a social collective, we as global citizens also share the responsibility of measuring our actions and minimizing the negative impact they create on our ecosystem.

An organization's profit through sustainable methodologies and strategies depends on how the stakeholders make strategic business decisions and implement them. An MIT study reports that the businesses that truly profit from adopting and integrating a sustainable approach or structure are the ones that set concrete goals and build a business case around them. With appropriate sustainable management practices in place, triple bottom line companies also need to ensure that coherent economic policies are in place.

How does HCL strive to create harmony?

HCL strives to improve the lives of vulnerable people locked out of prosperity through new developments in science, technology, and innovation. We focus on areas such as health, education, power, and jobs, where we can drive the most progress and determine our true impact on the environment. We collaborate and co-create sustainability-focused initiatives with our ecosystem partners and bring together all the factors that shape our policies to invest in a more sustainable and prosperous future for our next generations.

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