Sustainability has never before been as prominent on the EU agenda—and the indications are that it will become even more critical for the strategic and operative roadmap in the coming years.
A considerable number of public organizations, research Institutes and companies are embracing sustainability to one degree or another while showing a significant innovation in their approach to sustainability.
The experiences of the people leading in the field of sustainability provide a number of insightful lessons for the rest of us embarking on a move towards sustainable practices:
i. Seeing opportunity in sustainability—not just risk. Sustainability practices are moving from the domain of corporate affairs and corporate communications into the mainstream. Although the short-term financial benefits are not clear, we ought to understand the long-term economic importance of sustainability, increasingly viewing such policies and practices as vital to an organization’s future existence.
ii. Many organizations are incorporating sustainability into the heart of their strategy; in a way that sustainability cannot be separated from their core objectives (business or research). Internal structures enable sustainable principles to be pushed out from top brass, across the organization.
iii. Engaging with stakeholders: It is crucial to acknowledge progress against publicly stated sustainability goals, and that the scrutiny helps to improve progress in meeting these targets. Leading organizations are filtering stakeholder issues in a structured way—and tailoring their communication with them, as they clearly understand that actively engaging with stakeholders can be a source of competitive advantage.