- No leadership: leadership is critical to any successful corporate transformation programme and, given the scale of change required for sustainability, a lack of leadership commitment and drive will kill off sustainability programmes before they get going;
- Lack of integration: “Green” and “sustainability” are seen as tangential issues to the mainstream business processes and get stuck in a green silo;
- Misalignment of responsibility and authority: most environmental managers have lots of responsibility and precious little authority. Conversely people who have the power to push sustainability are given no responsibility to do so;
- Lack of accountability: If you want to get somebody to do something, give them a target to hit and hold them to it. Make it a "must", not a "nice to have" - especially important for middle management;
- Lack of ambition/wishful thinking: "We've appointed energy champions. Job done.";
- Inertia: "We've always designed our products like that!";
- Fear: “if we try this, who’ll get the blame if it goes wrong?”
You will notice that these are all about attitude and culture - very rarely is the real reason money. The true barrier to sustainability is about 6 inches wide - the space between our ears.