The last year has been very busy in my life and I did not spend as much time working on Sustainability topics as I would like to have done.
During 2013 I started to refocus on Sustainability topics. Today’s post is meant to be a short resume post about what I believe is happening in the Sustainability field at the moment and how I could see the Sustainability best practice future.
Key learning for me over the past months has been that Sustainability best practice desperately needs to move to the next development level. Too many professionals still have a nostalgic view of Sustainability best practice and this reflects current organisation best practice. This is not the ideal way to move forward in my view and needs to be addressed by all of us.
I strongly believe that all of us as Sustainability professionals need to leave the past behind us as quickly as possible and change our view of how Sustainability should look like in 10 years time. We do not have the time to rest on our past achievements anymore. It was a great time back when Sustainability was the new business trend but lets us all now move on to integrate Sustainability best practice into normal business practice. Our goal should be to not be needed as internal or external Sustainability experts. That is how I see it.
The example of Sustainability reporting:
Roughly 10 years ago more and more organisations realized that a complete-as-can-be Sustainability report was the goal. Complete Sustainability reporting was hailed as the process and communication tool by Sustainability reporters. Fast forward to today: Sustainability reporting has evolved yes, it is more direct and user-friendly, yes but in itself I always feel that Sustainability reporting is a practice that needs to be integrated into overall Sustainability communication and stakeholder engagement activities. Not as a separate practice just for the sake of keeping some powerful Sustainability reporting specialists’ organisations alive. Now this goal of sustainability reporting is still a very important goal for organisations but Sustainability reporting is just not enough anymore for an organisation to show that it is a responsible business.
These days Sustainability within an organisation is changing to be much more integrated into the overall fabric of daily business.
Sustainability related memberships to boost the acceptance of your Sustainability best practice,Other examples of over-rated Sustainability activities are:
- GRI reporting to be part of an elite group of reporters,
- Independent assurance to show how transparent an organization is and
- mandatory participation in Sustainability conferences to “belong” to the Sustainability crowd.
Do not get me wrong. These are all important aspects/activities of Sustainability best practice but it seems that we professionals (myself included sometimes) are still trying to promote the old Sustainability concepts in favor of revolutionizing best-practice once again.
This post is already long enough in my view but one of my next posts will tackle this exact topic. I will try to explain to you what I see as a possible next step in Sustainability best-practice. All according to my experience and my view on new developments in the Sustainability field.
I do not have all the answers what the next development level for Sustainability best practice looks like in detail but what I know is that we need to look beyond the successes of the past to be ready for the future.
This is what I think. What is your view?
Picture Credit: foilman