November 2021 Sustainability News

By October 28, 2021 No Comments

Five leadership approaches to sustainability

There are five C-Suite personas when it comes to sustainability action, according to Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of Stewardship Asia Center (SAC) Singapore, and Founder President of the Leadership Energy Consulting Company, Seattle WA.

Steward Leaders:

  • Fully understand what’s at stake, and strongly believe it is their responsibility to address the threats.
  • Rather than customer or regulatory pressure, they are motivated by their own genuine desire and persistence to create a collective better future.
  • Have figured out how to drive superior shareholder returns byaddressing the very challenges that threaten humanity.

Concerned Beginners:

  • Have begun to understand the threats and want to do something about them.
  • While continuing to learn more, they initiate some basic steps towards environmentally/socially responsible action.
  • Have not yet figured out how to be environmentally/socially responsible without compromising profit.

The Blissfully Ignorant:

  • Do not understand the threats, or do not believe it is their job to do something about them (don’t know, don’t care).
  • Do not perceive any pressure from regulators or customers to do the right thing.
  • Mean no harm but take no action whatsoever.

Window Dressers:

  • Do not understand the threats, or do not believe it is their job to do something about them.
  • Worried about customer and/or regulator demands.
  • Take a few steps to showcase some environmentally/socially responsible action which is more form than substance.

Green Washers:

  • Do not understand the threats, or do not believe it is their job to do something about them.
  • Worried about customer and/or regulator demands.
  • Proactively disinform to show environmentally/socially responsible action when there is none.

Get started with sustainability branding

Pew Research Center reported in May that 71% of millennial adults and 67% of Generation Z adults say climate change should be a top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. Generation X (63%) and baby boomers (57%) come in a little lower but still show a majority.

Additionally, many workers have taken stock of their lives amid the pandemic, reevaluated what’s important to them and decided to take their careers in different directions.

Any brand can get started with sustainability branding and deploy its influence, according to the Forbes Business Council:

  1. Understand customer concerns.

Your customers will point you in the right direction. Ear-to-the-ground insight helps leaders make credible decisions about engaging the issue in a way customers will support and reward.

  1. Live your values.

Walk the talk with internal environmental policies and by working with sustainable partners. The company you keep says a lot about your brand internally and externally.

  1. Be a teacher.

Once you’ve established a credible, customer-based approach to sustainability, share information that can make your customers smarter about the issue.

  1. Don’t greenwash.

Once a public commitment to sustainability is made, it’s imperative to make every effort to meet it and communicate progress, even if those efforts are coming up short. Otherwise, the brand risks a cynical “greenwashing” reputation that may prove impossible to overcome.

It makes good business sense for brands to get involved with sustainability because customers and employees want them to take a stand. Any brand can play a role in making change. Listening to customers and committing to small steps can get you started, an action that can rally others to the cause.


Few UK companies promote sustainable business travel post-pandemic

Emburse, a global leader in spend management, announced the findings of its latest survey, aiming to understand current attitudes towards building back business travel post-pandemic.

A survey of 1,022 UK employees and 250 employers asked questions around business travel and sustainability. The data shows the demand from employees for more sustainable business travel, compared with a lack of prioritization from employers.

  • Almost two-thirds (61%) of those surveyed said the pandemic has made them rethink how they travel
  • Only 1 in nine (11%) employers list sustainability as a factor, with other most important factors being efficiency (13%) and shortest journey (9%)
  • Half (50%) of employers said they would consider offering employees incentives or a higher travel budget threshold to take the train to reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint
  • 70% of employers surveyed acknowledge it is their organization’s responsibility to enable sustainable business travel

The top three approaches to sustainable trips ranked in order of importance:

  • Over a third of respondents said: cutting down number of trips (35%)
  • A quarter of respondents said: combining trips (25%)
  • 1 in 5 of respondents said: minimizing air travel (22%)

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