Sustainability
9.12.2019

Without management, a sustainable direction is nothing

 

Strategic leadership tends to grab headlines. But without a sound approach to management, all the vision in the world won’t deliver sustainability.
 

Expect to learn:
 Why it’s vital to carry the sustainability initiatives of your company through from the strategy and leadership levels to management and operations.
 How communication and measuring affects the success of your sustainability initiatives.
 Why it’s important to extend sustainability practices to include your supplier networks.
 Over the coming months we’ll be looking at how a sustainable approach to your business’s networks, employees, and community can have a positive impact on your organization, and will also present case studies from global companies such as Natura and Accenture.
 
We hear a lot about leadership. About how, for sustainability efforts to be effective, vision and strategy are all-important. And they are.
 
But execution means getting senior management’s commitment and getting that management team to act. And without that wholehearted implementation right down the line, the sustainability initiatives of any company are more than likely to be wasted effort.
 

Executing sustainability: Remember to communicate and offer incentives 

Organizations that clearly communicate to their internal and external stakeholders why they are launching sustainability initiatives are more likely to be successful than companies that don’t.
  
And that means recalibrating the management of your operations.
 
Communication platforms and regular meetings with internal stakeholders help identify and reduce common resource inefficiencies.
 
Organizations that communicate why they are launching sustainability initiatives are more likely to be successful. 
 
Encouraging incentives and training will ensure that sustainability becomes part of every-day practices throughout the organization and gets everyone on board.
 

Executing sustainability: Make sure you set the metrics

You need to set and develop appropriate metrics to monitor the impact of every one of your sustainability efforts—both primary and secondary. Impact assessment is becoming important to stakeholders—investors, customers, suppliers, clients, and citizens—and is becoming important internally, too.
 
Impact assessment is becoming important to stakeholders.
 
Measuring the impact of corporate sustainability leads to higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, creates more awareness of sustainability issues, and is interpreted as a clear signal of transparency.
 
 
You need to foster open communication with all stakeholders and ensure that information is easily available, clear, and accurate—as well as make sure that faults are recognized and practices improved. An open environment in the organization as well as with external stakeholders will improve performance.
 

Executing sustainability: Take it beyond the borders of the company

Many companies outsource a significant part of their business—for example, their production. In these cases, much of the environmental impact is likely to occur throughout the supply chain. This is why the management of supply chains is as important as managing internal processes.
 
Supply-chain sustainability is about more than just complying with legislation and regulation and meeting international standards. It means making sure that the proper integration methods and resources are in place throughout the operation and its supply chain.
 

How to win at executing sustainability:

 Management plays a key role in the success of your company’s sustainability initiatives. Make sure everyone in charge of operations management is involved. 

 Having the right incentives and training in place is important, but communication plays a big role as well. Organizations that clearly communicate to their internal and external stakeholders why they are launching sustainability initiatives are more likely to be successful.

 Companies need the right tools in place to monitor the impact of their sustainability efforts both inside and outside the business. Read more from our case study below.

 

Adidas: Managing supply chain sustainability

From supplier compliance to best practice guides, this is how the global sportswear company manages its supply chain. 
 
Sportswear company Adidas outsources its production, and a significant part of the brand’s environmental impact occurs in its supply chain.
Managing that supply chain is not only about high product quality and delivery; it also means working with suppliers to ensure that they are able to improve their environmental footprint.
 
Adidas even provides its suppliers with clear policies and best-practice guidance for environmental management.
 
In 2018, Adidas released its Environmental Good Practice Guide and Toolkit, which serves as a manual to recommend good industry practices for reducing environmental impacts of manufacturing facility operations. It outlines the company’s approach to the implementation of environmental management systems, including the management of everything from data to waste water and green buildings. It also outlines more than 60 opportunities to save on resources—from energy and water to waste management and renewables.
 
Adidas also offers tailored training, and measures its suppliers’ progress toward clear targets. Progress toward these targets is regularly reported to senior management for review and further decisions.
 
Read also:
 
Over the coming months we’ll be looking at how a sustainable approach to your business’s networks, employees, and community can have a positive impact on your organization, and will present case studies from global companies such as Natura and Accenture.

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