Open Access

Table 1

Examples of key sustainability issues.

Environmental issues Social issues Economic issues
Emissions to air (e.g. greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and other pollutants) Encouraging a diverse base of suppliers (e.g. minority or underrepresented suppliers) Job creation (e.g. green technologies, creating markets for recycled products, back to work schemes)
Releases to water (e.g. chemical pollution of water courses) Promoting fair employment practices (e.g. fair wages, workforce equality, diversity, avoidance of bonded labour) Understanding whole life costs to achieve value for money
Releases to land (e.g. chemical fertilizers) Promoting workforce welfare (e.g. health and safety, trade union membership) Supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (e.g. facilitating opportunities for small businesses)
Use of raw materials and natural resources (e.g. sustainable forestry, biodiversity) Enabling training opportunities and skills development (e.g. apprenticeships) Reducing entry barriers (e.g. facilitating open competition)
Use of energy (e.g. energy efficiency, renewables) Community benefits (e.g. supporting community groups, volunteering) Ensuring operating business remains a viable operation able to provide employment
Energy emitted (e.g. heat, radiation, vibration, noise) Fair trade and ethical sourcing practices (e.g. fair pricing policies) Ensuring suppliers' agreements are at fair and viable margins
Waste and by-products (e.g. recycling and waste prevention)   Ensuring business continuity (e.g. supply chain resilience)

Source: BS 8903:2010.

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