Writing a book of this nature is a challenge. I would like to thank Google's innovators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, for their mission in 1996 to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. This gave me the ability to research at the click of a key to find data and information. Google understands driving business sustainability and is innovative, believing in acquisitions and partnerships.
The leaders of sustainability are all of you who takes on the challenge and bring about a change to improve the world in which we live.
Thank you to all the many companies I have worked with throughout my business life, from registrars, standards bodies, and government to industry, institutions, and many nonprofit organizations and committees, who have provided me with insight about how organizations function and how leaders think and operate. I cannot name them as there are too many and it is difficult to choose which to leave out.
Asking questions is not unfamiliar to me; my mother joked that the reason I always ask “why” is because she named me Jayne with a y. The business leaders of today who ask questions are taking the first step to sustainability.
I would like to personally thank Sharon Wilson, my dear friend and a high school English teacher, for her support and review of my book.
In addition, I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with John Wiley & Sons and bring this information to the global marketplace.
I. Business Sustainability
The United Nations outlined on its website that “sustainability calls for a decent standard of living for everyone today without compromising the needs of future generations.”
We are all partners in maintaining sustainability of our world's quality, environment, health, and safety management, impacting billions of people around the world. Global adversity trends include: food scarcity, depletion of natural resources, major climate change, water quality, extinction of animals, quality control on products, and globalization – carrying out business around the world.
The role of companies has been changing, especially in developing countries, where it is crucial for businesses that enter into these marketplaces to go beyond their core business lines and help to improve education, protect the environment, and address poverty and human rights, and, as a result, enhance their reputations and business models.
Many industries have been criticized for their lack of sustainability practices for some time now. In response, governments are implementing new legislation and regulations to provide accelerated changes in areas related to climate change, energy conservation, and the health and safety of workers.
Companies at first viewed the “green” movement as a threat. Today “going green” helps companies stay out of the “red” with actions taken to reduce consumption of energy and alternate methods for energy and management of resources. This is what I call the green sustainability movement. Companies are showing the world that they are credible sustainers of our world. Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, moved many CEOs and has been credited with raising international public awareness of climate change and the environmental movement.
The TED Talks daily video podcast on YouTube is another resource that has impacted millions around the world. A young girl, Maya Penn, was featured on TED Talks (February 2014). She started her first company when she was eight years old. Many CEOs can learn a lot from this young entrepreneur, who values not only creativity and innovation but also her responsibility to the planet.
There are many definitions of sustainability. From reports outlined on sustainability, many companies are evaluating what this term means to them. Part I in this book, focuses on the terms for sustainability and the focus of top business leaders in this area. For sustainability to assist an organization it needs to provide value to the company; that is why I look at the definition of sustainability first, then in Part II, I move to the principles that can make a business successful with the support of an integrated management system that meets international standards in order to operate in the global marketplace, as described in Part III.