ECOSOC is at the heart of the work of the United Nations system on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. The figure at the top of this page suggests that there are three pillars of sustainability: economic viability, environmental protection and social equity. This is also known as the three pillars of sustainability. One way of looking at sustainability is to consider the 3 pillars of sustainability.
Under this approach, companies aim for a balanced approach to long-term social, environmental and economic objectives. The three pillars of sustainability are essential to ESG criteria because they are the basis of the framework used to derive ESG metrics for investments. The social aspect of business sustainability focuses on balancing the needs of the individual with the needs of the group. In recent years, thanks also to greater environmental awareness among the public, sustainable business practices have started to gain more ground.
ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and is a relatively new standard used by an increasing number of institutional investors to evaluate companies and countries in their sustainability efforts. Sustainability can have different meanings for different people in the context of corporate social responsibility. Nowadays, many companies are trying to improve their brand perception by incorporating sustainability into their business plan. In other words, “benefit could also be used as another term for the sustainability pillar of the economy.
Finally, there is also a different and more recent variation of the three pillars of the sustainability model (or 3 P or 3 E's of sustainability), which emphasizes the human sustainability factor by adding an additional pillar. The three pillars are important because they help to better understand sustainability and are also used as a model for standards and certifications to assess the sustainability of organizations, countries, products and services. This leads to new and more environmentally conscious leadership, which, by improving the efficiency of different processes, can often improve sustainability without necessarily increasing the cost of the final product. At Walmart, social initiatives include market-specific skills training programs, sustainable food and agriculture donations, workplace safety initiatives, and women's empowerment programs.
Defining business sustainability and corporate social responsibility through the use of the 3 pillars of sustainability can help a company determine its own sustainable and successful path to follow. In recent years, the public has become increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable development, which has damaged the reputation of companies that maintain a myopic approach focused solely on profits without considering the environment. Finally, the 3 pillars are also used to define the objectives of green technology, paving the way to a sustainable future.