Oftentimes on our website we tackle all kinds of questions regarding the adoption of a sustainable corporate model, and yet we rarely stop to understand the importance of sustainability beyond its general benefits to society, the environment or a company’s monetary results.
Today we want to focus on one of the most important lessons in the books: understanding what we do so we can do it properly, this is, with intention, and not just for the sake of following a number of legal processes and corporate procedures. It is precisely this train of thought that brought us to the idea of the importance for everyone in the company to understand sustainability, in order for the sustainability strategy to be genuinely effective.
The philosophy of strategic alignment
One could argue that the root problem to a lot (if not all) of today’s social, political, economic and environmental dilemmas is that of definition. When we fail to define certain notions or ideas and multiple interpretations arise from one concept, discussions or arguments around the latter become rather useless. This is why the first discussion to be had should be surrounding definition, in this case, a definition of sustainability within the company.
Although there are inescapable matters to a successful development of sustainability within the company such as leadership or good communication skills, for employees at all levels to have the same understanding of such a notion is another key element for success. Adopting sustainability is, or should be, a change for the company’s culture, touching upon the vision, mission and the values of the organization, and so it is crucial for managers to engage everyone on the advancement of these new changes.
The term sustainability has been on the forefront of corporate affairs for quite a while now, but, at the same time, it is still a rather recent endeavor for many, given the fact that for a long time it remained solely on the agenda of marketing departments, with little to none real application.
Similar to the digital transformation of companies, necessary for achieving competitive advantages in the market, sustainability is way past the starting point of becoming an essential element of a company’s overall corporate strategy, and with it, the engagement of all stakeholders in its renewed sustainable purpose.
It is in this context that employees begin to have a more elaborate idea of what sustainability means, but such knowledge may not be entirely correct or sufficient, or most precisely, aligned with the company’s sustainability goals. And so sustainability should not remain a matter of a specific department or area inside the company, but rather be effectively communicated, taught and implemented across all levels of the organization.
Individuals on their own cannot achieve much of what the world needs today, but collectively, positive impact can be outstanding. Such collectivity should encompass learning, understanding and acting accordingly, as this is the only way to ensure not only alignment across departments, but it is also the best way to grow and develop as a team when tackling complex subjects, helping avoid misinterpretations or false conclusions.
We can understand engagement as breaking down sustainability issues into more manageable levels, which in turn makes it more practical and effective. Additionally, a clear understanding of sustainability, as well as the company’s strategy and values surrounding the latter, make up for a more resilient organization that is better prepared to face near future environmental and social challenges arising from issues such as climate change, social cohesion erosion, systemic economic crisis or mental health deterioration, among others.
Investing monetary and time efforts and resources onto employees’ knowledge and well being is crucial to keep them prepared and aware for present and future challenges, not only inside the company, but within their daily lives, as sustainability is not a just a corporate issue, but a matter of protecting the future of our planet and livelihood. In short, investing in sustainability awareness is as beneficial to the company’s long term survival as it is to the individual’s overall wellbeing.
Engaging through transparency
Transparency is a fundamental part of any sustainability related policy or practice inside an organization. Transparent information and open channels of communication are key to get the whole picture of any given issue, understand it fully to make the necessary assessments, and develop an adequate action plan to prevent further damage. Transparency is the base for healthy and reliable engagement across the organization.
In DoGood we believe you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is why we actively work to pursue transparent and traceable information to be reported and help companies achieve a continuous improvement as well as a stronger relationship with stakeholders to help impact society and the planet in a positive way, helping revive trust and confidence.
In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.
We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our SaaS technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society while creating a purposeful environment where sustainability is the common denominator.
If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.