How to make a Sustainability Leader…
While writing this month’s Low Carbon Agenda on What Makes a Sustainability Leader, a sudden thought dropped into my mind… how to make a Sustainability Leader? What if you boss is holding the whole thing back? If they’re a raving libertarian climate change denier, then you’re probably better looking for a new job, but what if they’re just a bit non-committal? What can you do?
A 50 slide powerpoint presentation is extremely unlikely to inspire radical change – you have to be a bit more cunning than that. Here are some cunning plans I’ve seen work very well in practice:
- ‘Volunteer’ the boss to give a talk on what the organisation is doing about Sustainability. This is how Interface’s Mission Zero, probably the most ambitious Sustainability programme ever, was started – company founder Ray Anderson was asked to give a presentation and his background research led to a ‘spear in the chest’ moment.
- Run a senior management team workshop. At least twice I have had a CEO decide during a workshop that the organisation is going to be much more ambitious than all the other executives in the room were proposing. Of course you need to deliver the right workshop (give me a shout if you need help), but its a jaw dropping moment when it happens.
- Use peer pressure. CEOs tend to be quite competitive, so if one of your competitors is leading the way on Sustainability, use their ambition to spur some in your organisation. I find this a great way to get ‘net zero carbon’ or ‘zero waste’ on the table