Monday 20 March 2023

The Carbon Column – Sustainability is a team effort

The Carbon Column – Sustainability is a team effort

Leadership is crucial to organisational success. Leaders inspire others to want to do more than follow the management. They inspire them to contribute efforts to realise the organisation’s goals.

Sustainability is heading to every board room. It is now at the forefront of most organisations and it is becoming a central pillar to the business strategy. It requires effective leadership to deliver the necessary initiatives to reduce organisational greenhouse gas emissions in line with the UK’s targets.

Emissions goals must be supported by the relevant people and processes. When developing a roadmap or strategy, it often requires the appointment of a sustainability team or committee. Made up of individuals willing to go above and beyond to deliver the sustainability strategy, all whilst maintaining their day-to-day tasks.

Creating a team can be challenging in any setting. It takes time to build trust and relationships. A highly effective team does not happen overnight and requires effort to get the team to optimal efficiency.

It as requires having a diverse group of people from various departments and different managerial levels within the company. Why?

Sustainability is not an operational, finance, sales, marketing, HR, legal, IT or any other departments challenge in isolation. It is a company challenge. Everything within a company needs to change to meet the needs of the future operating model of the company.

Therefore, it is crucial to have people from different departments with different perspectives to address the challenges from their point of view. This diversity of opinions helps generate the best solutions, factoring in all elements of the company.

It also requires a mix of seniority levels. Employees are often the ones delivering the work and often come up with the best ideas, as they are on the front line. Managers will monitor the work and provide them with the infrastructure and resources to be able to deliver. Managers will also develop the performance metrics. Without performance metrics, the work can fall down when things become more challenging for the company. They are a crucial part of any sustainability strategy.

Finally, you must have CEO buy-in. CEO or C-Suite buy-in is critical. Ultimately the buck stops with them and with a lack of desire from the CEO, it is an uphill battle destined to fail.

Overall, a sustainability team needs to be a mix of people willing to go above and beyond to deliver the sustainability goals set by the company.

If you have thoughts on this or any other sustainability topic, please email me or find me on LinkedIn

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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