Sustainability can create competitive advantage and higher profits on condition that organizations truly modify their mindset and culture, by polluting less the environment, helping society to growth in a more responsible way, and making more sustainable business.
The global economic crisis, geopolitical instability in Middle East, security of energy supply in the European Union, as well as environmental pollution, climate change and unfair labour practices are top issues that will continue to drive chance toward sustainability at local and global level.
Shareholders and stakeholders have growing expectations about the positive and negative impacts that companies and their businesses can have, or might have in the future, on natural resources, civil society and the economy.
This is a very tangible reason why an effective sustainability strategy should be integrated in every environmentally and socially responsible organization’s policy and management to create long lasting value for any shareholder and stakeholder.
Following these 5 steps will help you get started with sustainability:
1. Understand the present situation at local and global level, and what is happening in your industry.
Gain awareness of the political, economical social and environmental context in which “top green opportunities” can be realized.
- Explore current and potential business strengths & weaknesses;
- Identify environmental impacts of processes within value chain;
- Establish customer expectations on green & social challenges;
- Understand how processes and services relate to clients needs;
- Develop a business case for sustainability to move forward.
2. (Re)-align corporate vision, mission and values, and develop a sustainability strategy for the medium and long term.
Create a corporate strategy for sustainability value and better organization and management, and develop core business strengths.
- Follow a top-line growth approach & transformation strategy;
- Connect strategy & policy with sustainable business practices;
- Consider possible changes to business model or strategic plan;
- Develop an action plan for major functions in the organization.
3. Promote sustainability through environmental and social initiatives, and measure progress with sustainability indicators.
Use a Sustainable Development approach, and make effective use of sustainability indicators in decision-making to develop successful initiatives that bring corporate sustainability strategy to life.
- Align existing processes and services to address strategy;
- Examine the product value chain for any potential initiative;
- Measure efforts through sustainability performance indicators;
- Understand if consumers are willing to pay a price premium;
- Examine customers’ value chains & identify green opportunities;
- Identify potential partnerships with local and global stakeholders.
4. Gain internal alignment by retaining top talent, and increasing employee motivation, productivity and satisfaction.
Align organization towards corporate sustainability strategy to develop awareness of the context in which environmental and social value can be achieved, and carry out effective implementation of sustainability management, communications and training.
- Secure top & middle management support for sustainability;
- Communicate the sustainability business case to move forward;
- Identify champions who will move core value initiatives forward;
- Create pilot projects to find out what sustainability looks like;
- Communicate internally & externally at first stage of success.
5. Maintain the momentum of sustainability through ongoing support, and mentoring programs for internal and external staff.
Learn how to maintain the corporate sustainability strategy momentum by building sustainable development and supporting natural resource management at strategic, tactical and operational level.
- Create a control process & apply change management;
- Develop business-based metrics for management success;
- Design an award program for best sustainability projects;
- Integrate environmental stewardship into business operations;
- Address client-specific environmental and social concerns.
We help our clients and partners address the most pressing economical, political, social and environmental challenges. If you want to learn more about our sustainability practices, please Contact Us for an initial introductory consultation to discuss what management and communications systems you may need for complete sustainability legislative and regulatory compliance, and better measurement and reporting of TBL performance.