The Importance of Sustainability for Health Care Organizations
Sustainability is a term that means different things to different organizations and people. However, what cannot be disputed is that which relates to utilizing resources efficiently so that future generations can also benefit from the resources. For organizations, sustainability is best comprehended as actions aimed at fueling triple bottom line results around social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity. This implies that sustainable organizations focus on enhancing their financial results even as they use business processes that are socially responsible and environmental conscious. In the present business climate, it is essential that all organizations promote the adoption of sustainable practices. Healthcare organizations should also embrace sustainability since it is important in promoting public health, saving on costs, employee retention, and long term success.
The Importance of Sustainability
Sustainability efforts encourage and promote responsible public health practices as well as other mission-based goals, thereby helping healthcare organizations to achieve their objectives. The main aim of any healthcare organization is to improve public health. One of the key factors that impact on public health is the environment. For example, consumption of unhygienic water and inhalation of polluted air always leads to infection and spreading of water borne and air borne diseases respectively. However, when healthcare organizations decide to go green, they will adopt initiatives that correspond to ensuring a clean environment, which would translate to enhanced public health (Schroeder et al., 2012). Furthermore, such organizations make sure that the long term health of its clients is not compromised.
Through the pursuit of sustainable initiatives, managers of healthcare organizations gain vital insights into cost cutting measures. This will enable the organizations to achieve financial success on the long term. Investing in sustainable practices, such as greener forms of energy and purchasing of energy efficient machinery demands healthcare organizations to spend significant amounts of capital. However, the present business climate requires that they carry out a thorough research and cost benefit analysis before making the investment. Furthermore, they are also compelled to consider the long term benefits of the initiatives and determine if they are worth the investments (Shani et al., 2012).
In essence, the pursuit of sustainability forces healthcare organizations to be more prudent with their finances. Sustainable organizations do not simply focus on the initial costs of acquiring a product. Instead, they look at the cost of running the product and its life cycle. In this way, they can plan their spending more carefully. Such cost cutting initiatives are important since they will reduce overall expenditure, thereby enabling the organizations to attain financial stability on the long term.
Healthcare organizations can increase their employee retention levels by adopting greening strategies. Sustainable organizations demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of not only their customers but also their employees. Such employees will be happy with their places of work since they know that they are highly valued by their employers. In the same breath, sustainable organizations tend to engage their employees in designing and implementing the green initiatives. Apart from feeling empowered, employees will feel that they are important stakeholders to the organizations. This will make them more committed to the organization.
Healthcare organizations acknowledge that it is cheaper and easier to retain loyal customers than to find new ones. This is also true for employees. It is cheaper for healthcare organizations to find the right employees and retain them on the long term. On the other hand, it is always costly to recruit and train new employees on a regular basis, especially if existing ones keep on leaving due to poor employment relations. However, by showing a commitment to the wellbeing of employees, sustainable organizations do not experience high turnover levels. This saves them money since they do not have to make unnecessary spending on recruiting and training new hires to replace departed employees.
Adoption of sustainable measures pays off in the long term. As already mentioned, managers who espouse sustainability tend to develop cost cutting mindsets. When making a case for a particular green initiative, it is always mandatory that a manager demonstrates how it will lead to cost savings. This implies that any organization that is dedicated to sustainability usually attains a return on investment on many of its efforts. Furthermore, green organizations tend to have a favorable reputation amongst the public and the market. This raises their brand value. As a result, they are better placed to attract more customers, partners, and investors while retaining existing ones. In the long run, this will lead to increased business opportunities and revenues (Schroeder et al., 2012). This will enable the organizations to attain their long term financial objectives.
Sustainability is a concept that all healthcare organizations should adopt. Sustainability can be best understood as actions aimed at fueling triple bottom line results around social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity. Sustainable healthcare organizations play a central role in promoting public health, which is normally their mission. In addition, such organizations reduce their expenditures since they are dedicated to adopting only efficient and cost effective practices. Sustainable organizations also commit to ensuring the wellbeing of their employees, thereby acquiring their loyalty. Consequently, they record high employee retention levels. Finally, sustainability pays off in the long run due to its associated cost cutting, brand building, and efficiency.
Schroeder, K., Thompson, T., Frith, K., & Pencheon, D. (2012) Sustainable Healthcare. Chicester: Wiley, 2012.
Shani, B. A., Mohrman, M. S., Mohrman, S., Docherty, P., & Worley, C.G. (2012).Organizing for sustainable health care. London: Emerald Group Publ.