My dad often tells a story about a senior manager he used to work with who had three trays on his desk "In", "Out" and "Too Difficult". I am always reminded of this when I see sustainability staff dance around issues that they know they should really be addressing, but seem too difficult. There's always an excuse for ignoring these elephants in the room - outside our control, something for the next iteration of the strategy, we're too small to influence that etc, etc. At least my dad's colleague was being honest (if tongue in cheek).

The guys who get do sustainability properly - say InterfaceFLOR, P&G or Marks & Spencer - do it properly. They deliberately identify what the big issues are and attack them head on - no excuses. Washing powder's biggest impact is the heating of water in washing machines, so P&G formulated a product, Ariel Excel Gel, which washes in virtually cold water. InterfaceFLOR have started to build a circular economy around carpets as this is the only way they can make their supply chain sustainable, and M&S have built a supply chain for recovered polyester fibre because there wasn't one before.

If there's an elephant in the room, these guys reach for their elephant guns.

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