Companies can’t just look at profit; sustainable design brings future rewards, say Athabasca University researchers
Sustainability is about finding ways to meet our needs for today and for the future.
In the business world, it means ensuring companies look beyond profit and consider their role and obligations to the communities in which they operate and serve.
It’s also about designing communities and gathering spaces that meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
As part of a new video series, Research with Reach, we share how Athabasca University (AU) researchers are advancing knowledge and developing solutions to help build sustainable communities, and with it, transform lives.
Building sustainable businesses
Dr. Eduardo Ponce-Ordonez
Strategic Management and Ethical Decision-making
Dr. Eduardo Ponce-Ordonez’s research focuses on helping businesses and organizations understand the role they play in the sustainability of society. By studying their performance and the way they address, or don’t address, environmental, social, and economic challenges, he can help them contribute to sustainable communities.
“There is a lot of research that shows a positive correlation between investing in the community on corporate social responsibility issues, or sustainability approaches, and financial performance,” Ponce-Ordonez says. “In the long term, for a company to be sustainable and to survive, they need to take care of all these other stakeholders, and can’t just focus on making money. That’s the way it has to be done.”
“There is a lot of research that shows a positive correlation between investing in the community on corporate social responsibility issues, or sustainability approaches, and financial performance.”– Dr. Eduardo Ponce-Ordonez, assistant professor of strategic management and ethical decision-making
Designing sustainable communities
Dr. Henry Tsang
Award-winning architect Dr. Henry Tsang has been researching how architecture can influence sustainability, health, culture and equity. Sustainability can mean environmental components of design, such as energy-efficient buildings that can reduce our carbon footprint. But sustainable design is also about resilience, Tsang says.
“We know that climate change is already happening. And the frequency of natural disasters is occurring much more than than in the past. So how do we design buildings to also be prepared for the consequences of climate change?”
“We know that climate change is already happening. And the frequency of natural disasters is occurring much more than than in the past. So how do we design buildings to also be prepared for the consequences of climate change?”– Dr. Henry Tsang, assistant professor of architecture