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The Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD) emphasized the role of sustainable development in the global strategy of companies through an MQA-approved workshop focussing on corporate sustainability.

Held at the Hennessy Park Hotel on October 2, 2014, the objective of this training was to encourage participants to reflect on the integration of sustainable development, which is a compelling value-add strategy, within their companies.

The directors were taken through an in-depth discussion on how the notion of sustainable development could be perfectly compatible with the maximization of their business figures and their profits, while optimizing the preservation and the development of customer loyalty of all the stakeholders of the economic, social and environmental eco-systems.

The concept of sustainable development began in 1980 with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which was looking at ways to best conserve the existing, scarce natural resources.

Then, the WSSD (World Summit on Sustainable Development) decreed in 2005 that sustainable development would consist of three integrated parts for the proper functioning of a company.

It would combine three fundamental aspects within a company: such as the economic, social and environmental aspects.

Yesterday’s workshop emphasized the internal practices and challenges that await the Mauritian directors in a more globalised world, while presenting them the sustainability tools to measure and evaluate this concept in their companies.

Indeed, sustainable development can create more value for the company not only by providing much-needed support in cutting costs and deflecting risks, but also by creating more income avenues, developing a culture of innovation and contributing to skill improvement in employees, and ensuring their retention.

The facilitators of this workshop were Anneloes Smitsman and Sanju Deenapanray, the directors of Ecological Living in Action (ELIA) since 2006, who train companies as well as individuals in the transformational change and leadership to raise awareness on the benefits of the sustainable development.

The facilitators specified that increasingly, companies are evaluated not only through their financial results but also, and in fact especially, on their capacity to control the environmental and social factors leaned under good governance practices, also known as the Environmental, social and governance framework (ESG).

“Our mission is to help the participants to become ambassadors of sustainable development within their companies and to provide them with necessary tools and methodologies to help them implement this concept,” Sanju Deenapanray explained.

According to Jane Valls, CEO at MIoD, this training gave directors the opportunity to establish the link between the good governance and sustainable development in a company, which favours the optimisation of entrepreneurial management as well as ensures long-term viability of their company.

Besides, the issue of greenhouse gases and the management of increased wastewater has lent urgency to efforts to contain these phenomena.

Hence, directors are now encouraged to integrate sustainable development into their strategies and all such efforts will contribute to reduce the fatal effect of increased carbon footprints of corporate ventures on human beings.

It is to be noted that the consortium constituted by the MIoD in partnership with ELIA has been appointed the certified training partner of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed with the GRI.

Image (Cecilia Samoisi, AfricaMoney): Our mission is to help the participants become ambassadors of sustainable development within their companies and to provide them with necessary tools and methodologies to help them implement this concept, said workshop facilitator Sanju Deenapanray.

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