Sustainability presents businesses with unique challenges that until recently, weren’t always high on the priority list. Brian Clark, Director of Diamond Products Cape (Pty) Ltd, says that in recent years, the level of awareness and debate of key sustainability issues such as poverty, energy security, climate change, as well as water and food security has increased exponentially. There is now a global drive that places sustainability, responsible leadership and ethical business practices at the core of corporate governance, as noted in the King Code of Governance of South Africa 2009.

“Diamond Products places a high value on social responsibility in both our private and corporate capacities and we encourage our staff to do the same,” says Brian. He further notes that the terms “green” and “sustainability” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. “Green can be defined as products and services that reduce health and environmental impacts compared to similar products and services used for the same purpose. Sustainability is more complex,” says Brian.

He continues: “With green, consideration must be given to people and staff and how they are directly exposed to products and services. Sustainability covers a much wider range of implications of using these products and services and over a much longer period of time. Sustainability must also consider the impact on both a social and financial level.”

Given the delicate balance of the main factors that contribute to sustainability, decision-makers need to plan their green- and sustainability goals carefully. These goals must be implemented as part of the company’s policies and procedures and measured to determine their success.

“The challenge this presents to any business is to find the balance between being green as well as sustainable while still delivering excellence,” concludes Brian.

For more information, contact Diamond Products on +27 (11) 552 8310 or via www.diamondpc.co.za.

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