The biggest barrier to corporate sustainability
The Green Executive Webcasts went really well on Friday with lots of excellent questions. My favourite, partly because I had a response ready, was:
“What is the biggest barrier to corporate sustainability?”
To which my reply is:
“The biggest barrier is only six inches wide – it’s the space between our ears.”
This might sound a bit trite, but it doesn’t make it less true. Much of the reason why we pursue unsustainable practice is attitude – lack of priority, busy-ness, ignorance, habit, shortsightedness, despondence, fear, laziness or combinations of the above. Of the 18 Green Executive interviewees, to my mind Martin Blake of Royal Mail puts it best:
“Don’t take no for an answer and don’t ever give up. People will often tell you that things are not possible when they actually are.”
This is why staff engagement and culture change are so critical to delivering sustainability. You’ve got to understand how people think, what motivates them and how to tap into that. It’s much more important than shiny new technology.