As a sustainability champion, among the very first challenges you will face in making sustainability central to your business is the following: how should your organization think of sustainability?  

For a field that has been around for at least a decade, it is amazing how many different views there are of what it really means.  Your business functions will have different views of what it means.  One view is that it is all about carbon emissions and climate change.  Another view is that it is all about energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Another common view is that whatever it is, we are already doing it.  This is something you will hear a lot – we’ve always been sustainable.  You’re just putting a new label around what we already are doing.

The very first challenge then is to get your business functions on the same page on sustainability.  It is not that you are getting them to discard their view, but to broaden it.

Finding the right kind of synthesis of different views is a real skill.  When you do so, you get business leaders on the same page on what sustainability means to them.

Once you have your business units on the same page, creating a business plan and prioritizing your actions becomes a lot easier.

In my next blog, I’ll talk about what this “same page” looks like.

Until you find this page, it is hard to turn the pages and move ahead with the book of sustainability.