Filed under: Directions for Sustainable Innovation, Sustainability News, Your customers want your products to be green | Tags: Business Disciplines, Control, Engagement, Human Resources, Innovation, Marketing, Organizations, Purchasing, Sales, Sustainability
Sustainability knowledge and tactics will be diffused accross organizations. It will be embedded in all functional areas. Which is a great thing.
All disciplines will be affected. Employees will need to be involved and trained in new areas that are logical extentions of their current activities, but with a sustainability focus:
- Marketeers will be inspired by the new market dynamics related to environmental and social issues. All marketeers will learn about what works and what won’t in Green Marketing.
- Innovators will be challenged to develop new products that create user benefits ánd create a positive social change, with reduced ecological impact
- Sales reps will be trained to identify customer sustainability expectations and convince them of the advantages of new business models.
- Purchasing will intensify at one hand the sustainable supplier criteria and audits, and at the other hand the cooperation with suppliers to search for sustainable sourcing solutions.
- Controllers will be asked to track progress against social and environmental parameters in addition to the traditional financial indicators.
- Human Resources have already discovered the power of Sustainability as a means to attract and retain employees. They will be encouraged to develop engagement plans and bonus plans that include sustainability performance indicators.
All functions will be affected. Yet a small group at headquarters will need to stay in place. This central sustainability team will be there to overview and align the companies sustainability activities, share best practices, set the companies KPIs, benchmark and track market developments and update the sustainability strategy accordingly.
More information on sustainability developments and best practices in my book ‘Your customers want your products to be green’. The book contains insights based on interviews with 19 senior sustainability & CSR managers of European frontrunners. Let me know what you think about it!
Filed under: Sustainability News | Tags: GlobalScan, Sustainability, Sustainability Leader, Unilever
GlobalScan and SustainAbility presented the results of their study about perceived Sustainability Leadership. Results are based on an worldwide online survey among 559 sustainability specialists working in the private and public sector and at NGOs.’
What are the top 5 sustainable development leaders ? Unilever (mentioned by 15%), General Electric (12%), Interface (12%), Wal-Mart (11%) and Marks&Spencer (8%).
What makes Unilever the frontrunner ? First of all, the newly launched and ambitious Sustainability Living Plan is much admired. Second it proves to have encorporated sustainability values deep in the organisation. Third, it works in close relationship with external experts. As an illustration the four key objectives of Unilevers Sustainability Living Plan :
1) Improve the health of 1 billion people in Asia, Africa and Latin-America by providing Lifebuoy soap, assisting with changing health habits, reducing diarrhea and thereby reducing infant mortality.
2) Source 100% of its raw materials sustainably by 2020, including 100% sustainable palm oil. (Unilever know buys 3% of the worlds palm oil).
3) Make drinking water safer in developing countries by extending sales of its Pureit home water purifier.
4) Improve the standards of living of 500 million smallholders by linking them to the Unilever supply chain in cooperation with NGOs Oxfam and the Rainforest Alliance
The following indicators as most contributing to perceived sustainability leadership :
1) commitment to sustainability values : Does the company demonstrate the willingness to address social and environmental challenges, by its mission statement and strategic directions.
2) sustainable products/services/supply chain : The extent to which the company has changed and improved its portfolio of products and services and has changed its purchase and supply chain strategies to match environmental and social requirements.
3) integration in the core business model : If and how the company has incorporated sustainability in its operational business.
What counts now is the extent to which companies can match social and environmental issues with their core business, change their products and service portfolio, supply chains and operational business accordingly.
Sources : http://www.sustainability.com/news/latest-globe-scan-sustain-ability-survey-explores-sustainability-leadership / http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2011/04/11/unilever-tops-list-sustainability-leaders / http://www.sustainable-living.unilever.com/