Sustainability is a commitment to ethical behavior in three areas of responsibility: economic, social, and environmental. This effort is an environmental and human focus that is profitable for the organization. Sustainable organizations create value and long-term stability while contributing to society at large. The Five Ps model illustrates how the value of sustainability can be viewed systemically in order to be effectively integrated in an organization.
- First, sustainability must be accepted as a core principle guiding the organization (either part of the organization’s Purpose, Philosophy or Priorities).
- If sustainability is the organization’s Purpose, then it is why the organization is in business–the reason it was established.
- If sustainability is the organization’s Philosophy, then it is a distinctive value of the organization that has endured over the years that guides how employees do their work.
- If sustainability is a strategic Priority of the organization, then it is a goal that the organization wants to focus on and pay attention to in order to be competitive and thrive.
- Then, the value must be infused in the Internal Practices of the organization–guiding employee interactions and how they do their work.
- Additionally, sustainability must be infused in the External Practices of the organization–meaning that sustainability guides the products and services provided by the organization as well as serves as a guiding principle for selecting customers, vendors and business partners.
- And finally, the value of sustainability must be reflected in the Projections–the images that the organization projects to the public–like the image of the organization’s offices or stores and the organization’s marketing, pr and advertising.
Without viewing sustainability through the Five Ps, the value of sustainability may be seen as a fragmented add-on having limited impact–rather than a value that is core to the organization and embedded in all the Practices and Projections of it.