When a sustainability or ESG strategy is implemented in an organisation, regardless of the size, its success depends on the culture and input from the entire company.
Bringing the entire team on board and involving everyone in the challenges to create an environmentally aware mindset can be critical to how much progress the company makes.
So what can you do to achieve a sustain:able mindset?
Make sure everyone understands what the value is to the business, employees and stakeholders in adopting a sustainability or ESG strategy.
Understanding why your organisation should be working in this space is a great place to start. It helps focus the efforts and enables you to support your recommendation to get underway and develop.
Communicating the benefits, whether it’s to the Executive Team, employees, investors, partners or Board, is a really important part of getting everyone involved and on board.
Talk about the goals – everywhere!
Once the main goals of the strategy have been identified and targets have been set to improve the ESG impact within the organisation, make sure you talk about it as much as you can. Make use of meeting introductions, company newsletters, events, and signage in the office, to communicate what the company is working towards.
Making sustainability a key topic that gets plenty of airtime shows how important it is and helps it become part of the normal conversation.
Make the time.
In smaller companies, the team of people responsible for overseeing the implementation, roll out, management, and measuring of the sustainability strategy are often asked to carry out these tasks as part of their everyday job, so allowances with resourcing need to be made to support this. In larger companies, there may a stand-alone sustainability team.
Whoever is doing the work, it needs to be seen to be important and a critical use of time. Showing that the senior staff and decision makers recognise the importance of time spent on ESG related tasks gives an important message to the rest of the organisation. For example, is it possible to give staff time during work hours to get involved with local projects and activities that the company is supporting?
Communicate the successes and challenges.
What has the company achieved in relation to their targets? Which areas are proving harder to progress? Being open and talking about how the strategy and new initiatives are going ensures everyone is aware of what the organisation is doing, enables people to feel a part of the work, and encourages them to make suggestions about how things could be done differently.
Show how proud the business is of the progress and effort being made – celebrate the wins!