The last two parties involved in the people portion of a corporate sustainability strategy, but certainly not the least important, is government and the communities.
A strong relationship with the different levels of government, depending on the business, is a strategic imperative. A strong government relationship can allow the company to have access to different government programs which help increase revenue or decrease costs. Within Canada, different levels of government provide funding to companies to help increase their operational management, decrease the cost of capital investments, or supplement the cost of developing a new product.
The community portion of a corporate sustainability strategy might be the newest portion of the strategy. In the past, businesses didn’t look at how they interacted with their community.
As with any part of the people portion of this strategy, it has to be sustainable for the company. In other words, the community action taken by the company will either help increase revenue or help decrease costs. In regards to generating increased revenue, a company may take on a strategy to donate their product to a group of people that heavily use it. For the people that receive the donated product, which company would they likely purchase that product from in the future? Of course, the company that donated to them in the first place.
Some companies donate labor to different causes. Those causes may be attached to certain consumers or potential employees, therefore, those people have a sense of attachment or pride with the company since the company values the same things they do.
As with suppliers and investors, a short survey can be created to learn how the relationship between the company and government is being handled.
The company may set goals of volunteer hours, monies donated to a charity of choice, or value of product donated to gauge their participation. Of course, the company will also be setting up a system where they can gauge the increased revenue or decreased costs related from those actions.
Next week, we will look at the final part of a sustainability strategy, which is economics.