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This blog combines articles from ADEC ESG Solutions, as well as FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation.

Sustainability Leaders: The Driving Force of an Organization’s Sustainability Program

Posted by Michele Carchman on Jul 23, 2014 11:24:00 AM

Every organization needs to evolve along with its leaders and employees. When new technologies and new business strategies begin to emerge, a careful consideration of the implementation of new best practices is a must. Organizations today are starting to realize that adopting sustainability in their business agenda is imperative. According to the 2013 Havas Media Group Meaningful Brands research, companies with sustainable brands have outperformed the market by 120% and are more likely to increase sales during tougher economic times. The study also showed that during difficult financial periods, the importance of the relationship between brands and consumers is very crucial as sustainable brands can benefit from measuring, communicating and delivering increased well-being to their consumers.

As the corporate realm gears towards the sustainability era, companies and employees also need to adjust to this paradigm shift. It is vital for organizations to have a leader who will bolster efforts to help employees learn about and adapt to their sustainability programs.

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Sustainability Leaders

Sustainability leaders, regardless of their official title in the company, are typically responsible for the strategic implementation of environmental activities of organizations, while some are also responsible for the employee/social/community programs. To have an effective sustainability program, an organization needs a sustainability leader that has the ability to align the organization's vision with its sustainability agenda and have forward-thinking goals that will eventually drive organizational and financial success. In addition, providing sustainability teams with budgetary authority to drive cross-business or operational unit programs drives unprecedented efficiencies and quicker results.

A prime example of a good sustainability leader is David Jones, global CEO of Havas Media Group. Guardian News appointed Jones with the Guardian Sustainable Business Leader award in 2013 for his advocacy in driving sustainable change in an organization. As one of the world's most influential advertising figures who oversees Havas across 75 countries, Jones believes that brands play an important role in encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices. He was the force behind Kofi Annan's TckTckTck campaign, one of the world’s most successful social media movements. The global petition called for action on climate change and saw 18 million people sign up and become "climate allies."

Social media as a corporate sustainability “game changer”

IMG_1834-1983 lowJones also argues that social media is a critical game changer that makes corporations and its leaders be more socially responsible and transparent on reporting sustainability programs. In doing so, leaders can help the organization utilize their sustainability programs to create brand loyalty and maintain competitiveness among other brands.

Like Jones, a good sustainable leader is someone who can foresee the long-term effects of a sustainable business strategy. They are dedicated leaders who value the complex relationship that an organization has with its stakeholders, as well as have the capacity to take charge in instilling sustainable values, forms and processes to their employees.  

As a sustainability expert, FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) has the authority to talk about the subject of investing in sustainability programs. In addition, FCS will share how to effectively maximize the use of sustainability leadership to influence the corporate agenda. FCS can also cite case studies, best practices and stories of success of sustainable organizations. A number of public and private organizations worldwide, whether commercial or non-profit, rely on FCS for their expertise on sustainability consulting. For more information or to request a consultation, contact FCS today.

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