Creating a Sustainability Culture

Creating a Sustainability Culture

Your impact on climate change and the environment can be a hot topic issue both personally and professionally. When executives want to make an impact they can become overwhelmed with how to begin and get their organization behind them. Eliminating climate change is not reality, but organizations can make progress and make a significant impact on the globe.

In order to make this impact, organizations must ingrain a sustainability culture, meaning the organization “shares a belief in sustainability’s importance and behaves in ways that support it.”

You know you have a sustainability culture when:

  • The organization is aware of the impact they make on the environment.

Knowing the impact you make it the first step towards creating a culture focused on sustainability. This creates a baseline for the organization and allows them to see how they can make a contribution (either positive or negative) to their surrounding environment.

  • The organization has created + follows a sustainability vision.

A good organizational vision gives purpose and guidance for their core values. When you add sustainability to your vision, you “could describe your aspirations, culture and highest-leverage sustainability niches focused on particular sectors, goods, services or customer segments.” Keep in mind the sustainability vision is not short-term, but “a long-term guiding light that inspires people and helps coordinate collective action.”

  • The organization reevaluate efforts on a consistent basis.

Having the vision and adding sustainability to your culture means nothing if the organization is not continually reviewing their efforts and making adjustments. Impact and change are only known when you regularly measure it.

  • The organization engrains sustainability into decision-making processes.

When you keep sustainability in your decision-making process at all levels, your core vision is more readily intact. You know this is happening when sustainability “enters into major decisions of every type: corporate and business strategies and performance goals at every organizational level, in every function, and core managerial processes and operations.”

When these measures above are met, you have created a culture that is sustainability-focused. This environment-centered culture gives all members to feel they can contribute meaningfully to the vision and make a true impact, whether they be a CEO or receptionist.

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