An interesting thing happened at the G20 summit which took place in Australia over the weekend. Aussie premier Tony Abbott (right) is one of the few pro-coal, anti-climate action leaders in the world, but he ended up signing a communiqué including the following phrases:
We support strong and effective action to address climate change.
We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
(I've stripped out the detail to focus on the commitments)
How did this happen?
A: Peer pressure.
With the weight of the leaders of the world's greatest economies pressing down on him, Abbott crumbled and signed. Whether he will act is another matter, but he signed - a significant step that he can be reminded of if he doesn't act.
How can you perform a similar miracle in your business if the boss, or one of the bosses, isn't interested?
Look to their peers and identify those who are taking sustainability seriously. Those peers could be individuals or they could be organisations. Then ask yourself: Are your competitors doing better on sustainability? Well, constantly compare your organisation to the best. Are you a member of a trade organisation? Suggest your boss gives a presentation on your sustainability programme. Has an individual peer been recognised? Work that into your communications.
The G20 showed that peer pressure works. Use it.
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