Sustainability Through Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management (BCM) has a great deal of relevance to Sustainability once consideration is given to the touch points that associate them.  As BCM has a strong emphasis on managing disruptive events, its principles and processes when entrenched in the business will be a major contributor to the achievement of a truly sustainable business.

When a catastrophe occurs, Business Continuity Management provides the peace of mind that any recovery will be managed properly.  The sustainability trends and risks faced by companies going forward into the coming years will continue to grow not only in size but also in their complexity and impact.  Some examples would be:

  • Climate change and extreme weather;
  • Shortages of energy, water and materials;
  • Population explosion;
  • Wealth disparity;
  • Increased consumer demands;
  • Food security and massive urbanisation;
  • Increased global outsourcing;
  • Supply chain complexity; and
  • Reliance on third parties.

Released in May 2012, ISO 22301 is a Global Standard that has been written by leading business continuity experts and provides the best framework for managing societal security and business continuity in an organization.  It provides a clear framework for policy and programme management, ongoing monitoring and reporting, and also the routine governance tasks that are needed.  Its ability to look at disruptive events and their impacts from a risk perspective across the whole business in a structured way will enable recovery plans to be put in place.

In summary it is very apparent that Sustainability and Business Continuity Management are closely interrelated and if they are seen as adding business value as levers for providing a competitive advantage, then they are likely to obtain greater support from the Board.  The outcome produces a resilient business that provides a better account of its achievements to investors and other stakeholders in its integrated reporting.