Don’t let the green-tape tail wag the Sustainability dog…
I’m busy drafting a Sustainability Strategy for an autonomous division of a much larger organisation. We have had a bit of a dilemma as the suggested strategy template provided by the central support function is structured around their sustainability reporting portal, which, to my mind, does not lay out a coherent narrative for the casual reader. Fortunately my client is happy to diverge from the template as they have a divisional policy of all official documents being easy to assimilate.
I’m glad I have this local support as one of the basic principles of my approach to Sustainability is to design everything – documents, bureaucracy, products, services, processes – to be as accessible and intuitive as possible for the lay person. Far too many Sustainability bods assume that everybody thinks (or should think) just like them.
We don’t need to talk to people who get it already. We need to talk to the people who don’t get it yet.
A strategy must set out the direction and distance the organisation has to go as clearly as possible for all stakeholders, rather than ticking off boxes for the Sustainability function. In other words, we need to look outwards, not inwards.