Sustainability making business sense

Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SJMS Associates, in association with its knowledge partner Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited, held a thought leadership seminar on sustainability recently at the Kings Court Cinnamon Lakeside, which was well attended by many business professionals from a wide range of corporates, media houses and other organisations.

SJMS Associates Management Consulting Partner D.S.W. Andradi stated that Sri Lanka, in her march towards rapid economic development, should never lose sight of sustainability, and corporates have a very challenging and rewarding role to play in this endeavor.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited Climate Change and Sustainability Services Director Rajib Kumar Debnath, who was the resource person of the seminar, stated that governments and corporates across the globe need to adopt sustainable approaches and methodologies for laying a strong foundation for the sustenance of an organisation at the micro level and the economy at the macro level.  His presentation focused on the best practices on sustainability including; Designing of effective mechanism to measure quantitative aspects of sustainability and translation of qualitative aspects of sustainability practices into measurable indices, so that the degree of improvement could be measured; Strategising sustainability and corporate social responsibility across the business value chain, with a focus on mitigation of risks (quantification of performance and monetary benefits, enhancing brand/image value); Effective sustainability performance disclosure across triple bottom line dimensions so that it is appealing to readers and facilitates in their decision making process, rather than making it an ‘another report,’ and formulation of policy-level guidelines for facilitating corporates of Sri Lanka to be at par with the upcoming global market requirements on sustainability.

While most of the companies keep eyeing the sustainability awards, Debnath emphasised that the most important need is to lay a strong and effective sustainability framework to measure and improve its sustainability performance and assess where it stands as compared to the global best practices on material sustainability issues, so that they could comfortably overcome the sustainability related challenges to penetrate the international market. Debnath, with over 20 years of experience has served over 300 clients across various industry sectors on sustainability related matters, with a professional background in civil engineering and a post graduate qualification in environmental management, has been associated with the big four firms for over a decade.

SJMS Associates is an independent correspondent firm to the global professional services firm Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu, and has been operating in Sri Lanka since 1975. It provides professional services that assist the growth and competitiveness of businesses, such as management consulting, assurance and advisory, tax advisory, and corporate recovery.

Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe