For some, sustainable development is associated with the environment. For others, it means investing in projects or technology that will reap long-term benefits and will have no tangible effects on the present. This could not be further from the truth. As defined by the UK based Sustainable Development Commission, ‘sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The business and Industry sector has traditionally been driven by a single factor, such as profit or efficiency, to the detriment of other vital components society relies on, such as local communities, the environment, science and technology, or welfare. The negative impact on society of this one-dimensional approach has been reflected through large-scale financial crises caused by irresponsible banking, or even strong changes in climate patterns. However, the growing influence of established and socially responsible corporations, such as HSBC, combined with the emergence of new players, such as Google or Facebook, has contributed to shift the rules of engagement and exert more pressure on their piers to adopt corporate practices that are more in line with sustainable development.
Good financial management is defined by the efficient and effective management of company funds in such a manner as to accomplish the objectives of the organization. This is achieved through planning, monitoring, organizing and controlling the monetary resources of an organization. If the objectives have as a focus the capacity to balance different, and often competing, needs, against an awareness of the environmental, social and economic limitations faced as a society, then the sustainable development component will be part of the driving force of the company, rather than being perceived as an additional cost, or labeled as ‘the price of doing business’. Ensuring you have the right financial management framework in place, whether it is in-house our outsourced, is the key to delivering successful sustainable development.
Over the years, Mexico has consistently contributed to sustainable development on a global level, and has been leading by example in Latin America. Mexico’s progress in policy planning and institution building over recent years has been remarkable, including the April 2012 adoption of the General Law on Climate Change (LGCC in Spanish), one of the world’s first climate laws-and the first in a developing country. Under this law, Mexico aims to reduce its emissions by 50% from 2000 levels by 2050. The NDC proposal is consistent with this objective. Mexico has significantly lowered its CO2 emissions without hampering its economic development, and actually seeing considerable growth. Various ministries now offer wide-ranging support to companies wishing to grow the economy whilst making a positive impact on the local community involved, and the inflow of foreign direct investment in these types of projects is a testament to the fact that Mexico is leading the field.
Through efficient financial management you can build solid foundations for your company, as well as providing bright opportunities for future generations.