Last week we wrote about the benefits of taking a strategic approach to making your business sustainable and how our Business Sustainability Assessment Tool can help you to do just that. The tool helps businesses monitor their progress to become sustainable based on the milestones: Commitment; Operations; Circular Supply Chain; Value Creation and Leadership. In our next five blogs, we’ll explore each of these milestones. First off, the rank is Commitment.
Like most things in life nothing will change unless there is commitment. When it comes to business that means genuine support from senior management. Staff are more likely to adopt sustainable practices if they see it’s important to their leaders. Not only should senior management “walk the talk” but also ensure that staff know sustainability is something that is part of core business and will be encouraged and supported with the appropriate time and resource allocation. We will talk more about how to successfully embed sustainability into your workplace culture in future blogs!
Senior management can demonstrate its commitment by firstly preparing a sustainability policy or statement which is communicated not only to its staff but also to its suppliers and customers.
To help you implement your policy, appoint a sustainability champion or, even better, a team of champions who can take a fresh look at how your businesses operates and engages your staff to reach its sustainability goals. These will be the passionate staff members who can help motivate others to make change.
Another very useful way to maintain commitment by staff is to include relevant roles, responsibilities and expectations in job descriptions. This will help ensure staff understand your business’s commitment to sustainability. You may even wish to link personnel performance or payment of bonuses with Key Performance Indicators e.g. reaching a particular environmental or sustainability goal.
Your staff are your most valuable sustainability asset!
Make sure you get your staff involved in solving sustainability problems and contributing their own ideas for improvement. Simple ways to encourage the sharing of ideas include providing a suggestion box, rewarding innovative ideas, encouraging feedback, organising an inhouse “Shark Tank”, undertaking a survey on challenging issues, or establishing small focus groups to work on specific challenges. It’s then important to ensure those ideas are assessed and taken on board where they are feasible.
First steps towards embedding sustainability
Our next BLOG will discuss Sustainability Milestone 2 – Operations and is about looking at the degree to which sustainability is embedded in the internal operations of your organisation to give the initiatives you implement the greatest chance of success.
To find out more, view our free training video which explains further about these five steps and how you can take them within your workplace.
To find out more, book in a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how your organisation can achieve its sustainability goals.