The Importance of Ethics and Values in Business Sustainability

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THE IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS AND VALUES IN BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY What are Ethics and Values? Ethics are the principles that regulate the conduct of an activity and values are the judgement of what is important in life. Businesses are often tempted to make short‑term gains by turning a blind eye to what’s right. Despite codes of conduct, regulatory omission and ever‑increasing public pressure, many firms routinely ignore ethical considerations. Some even claim that a business simply needs to abide by the law without concerning itself with broader ethical issues. Yet such disregard can undermine the wider economy and, in time, cause irreversible destruction. Lessons must be learned from the corporate disintegrations of the past decade: short-sighted strategies can create lucrative companies, yet magnificent initial outcomes may turn out to be unsustainable. There is a strong business case for running companies in an ethically responsible way. A socially and environmentally ethical approach ensures a company’s ability to thrive in the long‑term by protecting its reputation, its license to operate, its supply chain, its relationships with partners. It’s about avoiding corporate collapse. While some firms consistently fail to consider ethical factors, others have given themselves a competitive edge by establishing strong credentials in this area. When we talk about sustainability, we talk about being able to maintain the company at a certain rate or level, this is really about
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