The Phases of the Corporate Sustainability Journey — An Author’s Viewpoints Shared

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Hank Boerner – Chair & Chief Strategist

As more corporate enterprises launch their sustainability journey — or enhance the journey as it matures — the internal discussions are increasingly around: “Where do we go from here?”  “What are the stakeholders’ expectations?”  “What are our peers doing?”  “What are the best practices for our company?”
Guest author Darcy Hitchcock on the Triple Pundit platform attempts to answer some of the questions raised and sets out what she sees as three distinct phases of the journey for your consideration:

  • Phase 1.0:  Eco-efficiencies & Risk Reduction
  • 2.0:  Competitive Advantage
  • 3.0: Reinvention & Regeneration

Three Phases of Sustainability: Where is Your Organization?
(Monday – August 10, 2015)
Source: Triple Pundit – Organizations usually go through phases when implementing sustainability practices. Understanding where your organization is in the process can help you foresee upcoming challenges and avoid overstating your progress…

She describes the typical activities in each phase and shares examples of company actions (Nike and CSR pioneer Ray Anderson and his firm, Interface).  Frameworks CDP and The Natural Step are referenced. The commentary is adopted from the author’s book, Great Work: 12 Principles for Your Work Life and Life’s Work.  Interesting take on sustainability journeys.
In our work at G&A Institute, we have conversations every week with company sustainability teams to discuss their specific journey.  Company culture matters a great deal in what is being done and can be done — depending (importantly) on senior management decision-making.
Companies are paying serious attention to the peers’ sustainability journeys and the rising expectations of the investment community, and the customer requests for information as part of their supply chain evaluation — and those third parties have great impact on a particular company’s strategies, actions and policies for the journey.
What are your views on the elements or phases of the corporate sustainability journey?  What are you seeing?  Send us a note!