I am very saddened by a large organisation I know well which has lost its way on sustainability. It had been rated best in class by independent evaluators, but the pipeline of green projects has suddenly dried to a trickle, employees are getting cynical and partners are getting frustrated.
What happened? A change in management bringing a change in management style. In tough times, they say, we must focus on a smaller list of priorities. The revised list has no mention of sustainability at all.
When they are challenged on this, the weasel words come out. Of course we are still committed to sustainability, it's a cross cutting theme, it's embedded in each of the new priorities, we consider it all the time, it doesn't have to be written down to be important.
To do sustainability properly it must be embedded in the culture, systems, infrastructure, strategy and product/service of the organisation. That won't happen unless the leadership say "this is a priority for us, we want you to do it." Clear unambiguous commitment and direction is required.
To say to your staff and partners "we want A, B, C and D", and expect "E" to somehow happen by magic, osmosis or ESP is idiocy.