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Ethical practices and sustainability: do they co-exist?


XAT 2019 will be conducted in January 2019 . At the end of exam you will have to write Essay on some assigned topic. Essay section of XAT attempts your skills of expressing your opinions, specifically under time limitations. Candidates are given a time of period 20 Minutes.

This Essay Topic - "Ethical practices and sustainability: do they co-exist?" was asked in XAT 2018 Exam, which MBA Rendezvous has attempted for you.

Attempt 1

We would not want to kill the planet we live on. We would not want to exhaust all the natural resources. We would not want to leave a dead planet for our future generations. Therefore, the given topic assumes significance. Ethical practices and sustainability are not mutually exclusive terms but remain inherent in each other. What is ethical remains sustainable and vice versa.


Cutting trees and tinkering with natural resources, unethical as it is, remains an inevitable fallout of development, needed for human sustenance. But every now and then, catastrophes such as the flash floods in Uttarakhand in 2016 remind humans that what is unethical is also unsustainable.

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As immediate dangers like climate change and global warming threaten the existence of mankind, sustainability has become an integral consideration in all human endeavour today. People are realising that the development of present should not compromise on the quality of lives our future generations have. From designs of new buildings to our lifestyle choices, each facet is influenced by sustainability concerns. 


Sustainable development and ethical practices are two sides of the same coin. Anyone who abides by a set of rules and principles and is governed by a moral code would adopt sustainability as a way of life. Sustainability is, in fact, a moral way of functioning. In the business world too, companies like TATA have built a lot of goodwill by joining ethical practices with sustainability goals.

Only when ethical practices and sustainability come together, can hope be ignited for a better future.

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Attempt 2

Ethical practices and sustainability are the buzz-words of the day. It hence becomes essential to unravel their true meaning and in the process, attempt to formulate an equation between the two.

‘Ethical practices’ refer to the moralistic codes of conduct and the just conventions which a human being, in his or her social, professional and personal spheres must adhere to. These practices shape the true character of an individual and enable to establish a context for an individual’s worldly existence. ‘Sustainability’ refers to a continuous process of well-being, a process which does not compromise upon anything but takes everything in its stride, even the harshest of circumstances, in order to endure the test of time.

These two concepts are inextricably intertwined – sustainability cannot exist without ethical practices. Generally, in the present scenario, sustainability directly motions towards an approach which ensures the preservation of the environment, of nature, yet at the same time, it ensures credible human development and progress also. And ethical practices refer to the practices that organisations and institutions must adopt in order to ensure sustainable development of the human race. For instance, it is alright to hope to gain the maximum profits in a business venture, but if the blueprint of its success plan compromises upon the health of the planet, then the approach may not really be worth it. The need in such cases, then becomes, to go back to the drawing board and start from square one and develop innovative ideas which do not leave anybody or anything in the lurch!

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