What does “Sustainable” mean?
An internet search of the topic of sustainability in business reveals a range, but not a consensus, of definitions of sustainability. Under the broad term of sustainability, businesses can categorize their activities intended to conserve, protect, and improve resources–both natural and human–during the course of normal operations. Let's look at why sustainability activities matter when choosing a supply chain partner.
Corporate sustainability activities are becoming standard
A 2022 survey by the global consulting firm, KPMG, showed that 96% of the world’s top 250 companies have formalized their sustainability activities into their daily operations. Besides traditional financial measures of success, investors also want to see evidence of sustainability–a company’s ability to mitigate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks–when they evaluate business operations and long-term prospects for profitability. Examples of company activities and policies that support sustainability include:
- o Environmental–reducing manufacturing waste byproducts and pollution; addressing climate change with operational upgrades to increase manufacturing efficiency
- o Social–enforcing policies to protect the rights and safety of labor force; supporting community projects
- o Governance–implementing policies for diversity and inclusion; transparent accounting and tax practices
How is sustainability expressed in daily operations?
In 1994, management consultant John Elkington boiled down the complex concept of sustainability and ESG risk into easier language–“planet, people, and profit”–and named it the triple bottom line (TBL). An article by Harvard Business School Online describes the TBL as a shift in focus from shareholders to stakeholders. The positive impact and sustainability of a company’s day-to-day operations on customers, employees, business partners, and the community are now considered part of the measure of success of a business.
Companies have found many ways to incorporate sustainability into their business model. For example:
- o Corporations donate money through their own foundations or other non-profits for community projects.
- o Companies strive to use only ethically-sourced material inputs.
- Manufacturers use innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions and make use of recycled materials.
- o Businesses encourage and support their employees who want to volunteer in their communities.
The benefits of incorporating sustainability activities in operations
Businesses who can endure the pain of short-term cost increases to start sustainability find financial rewards in the long term, such as reduced costs, innovative, more efficient operational changes, and greater productivity.
Other benefits may be more difficult to measure on a traditional balance sheet, but they are nonetheless signs of business success. Another advantage for businesses that practice sustainability may be an elevated social status as community economic leaders. Approval and goodwill from the local community improves a brand's image; increases brand loyalty; draws customers, sales leads and investors; and aids in employee recruitment and retention.
Clean World, Clean Gloves
Sri Tang Gloves is Thailand’s largest disposable gloves manufacturer, producing close to 42 billion units per year and exporting its products to over 170 countries. This industry leader successfully incorporates sustainable business practices into the manufacturing operations at its six factories. “Clean World, Clean Gloves'' is Sri Tang’s initiative to bring positive changes to the global environment and the local communities where employees and customers live. Here are a few examples of how Sri Tang lives out the concept of “Clean World, Clean Gloves'':
o Sri Tang requires supply chain partners to adhere to a Business Partner Code of Conduct and Guidelines to ensure the partners are working together towards common goals for sustainability. The Code of Conduct is based on international standards, such as those put forth by the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Global Compact.
o Among the principles of ethical business conduct is a commitment to anti-corruption, respect for intellectual property and fair competition.
o Sri Tang conducts annual audits of key suppliers to confirm that social and environmental standards are maintained.
o In line with local and international labor laws, Sri Tang and its supply chain partners have policies in place to prevent abuse, child labor or slave labor, and to protect workers’ human rights and rights to collective bargaining.
o Sri Tang and its business partners uphold vigorous workplace safety and quality measures to keep employees safe and ensure the products produced in its factories are safe for consumers.
o During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Tang ensured access to COVID vaccines for all employees and their families who wanted them. To support public health operations during the pandemic, Sri Tang donated medical gloves to government agencies and hospitals across Thailand.
o In an area of overlap between sustainability dimensions, Sri Tang has engaged the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) principle by donating recycled materials from the Sri Tang factories to community groups and entrepreneurs to help them create income-generating activities.
o Sri Tang is incorporating environmentally friendly, innovative and efficient technologies, such as the use of biomass fuel in its factory operations.
o By monitoring its carbon footprint, Sri Tang is working towards further reducing emissions from its green factories down to carbon neutrality and eventually net-zero domestic and global emissions.
In accordance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Sri Tang Gloves has put guidelines in place, reflecting each aspect of the SDG framework in its Corporate Sustainability Policy. Sri Tang remains committed to conducting business sustainably, balancing environmental and social responsibility with ethical business practices to meet the expectations and needs of all its stakeholders: employees, customers, business partners, investors, and communities.
Together, we can Outsmart Infection®
Sri Trang USA is the US division of Sri Trang Gloves and manufacturer of Ventyv® branded gloves. With Sri Tang products you can be confident that your customers will be getting good quality medical gloves that are manufactured in an eco-friendly manner by persons who are treated fairly in the workplace. To learn more about our full line of top-quality Ventyv® brand nitrile and latex medical gloves, browse our product pages.Read More