Evaluating Sustainability Tradeoffs

There are consequences and tradeoffs associated with many decisions related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Having a balanced evaluation of multiple attributes of sustainability will allow your company to determine which are most consistent with your values and business objectives and to effectively communicate your strategic decision to stakeholders. Research from the Center for Food Integrity shows that being able to explain how and why you make decisions is an important factor in building trust and reducing potential stakeholder outrage.

Any given agricultural or food production practice has an impact on one or more of the three large dimensions of sustainability: Environment, Economic and Social. It is important to consider the impact of a practice or policy on specific attributes across and within each dimension.

You cannot change one variable in a food production system without impacting other variables in the system. Recognizing that there are tradeoffs inherent within and across attributes and dimensions helps your organization optimize your sustainability strategy.

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