Get In Early!
A recurring theme from our clients is that great opportunities have been missed because sustainability wasn’t considered early enough in a particular project. By the time anyone with environmental responsibilities gets to see the plans, momentum has already started and the best that can be done is a slight deflection in a greener direction rather than the radical rethink required.
The obvious solution is to make sure that sustainability is considered at the very earliest stage – right back when the need for any project is being debated, and certainly before any solutions are proposed. The bigger the project and the longer its impact (eg construction), the more important this becomes.
But fundamentally this is a symptom of a wider malaise – sustainability is still in a silo and not integrated into the DNA of the organisation. In good organisations, safety is seen as everyone’s responsibility, and in TQM, quality is seen as everyone’s responsibility. To be a true green business everyone must take responsibility for sustainability, rather than calling in the ‘Green Team’ towards the end of planning get a project rubber stamped or tweaked at the end. Then sustainability will never be an afterthought.