Sustainability initiatives to help create economic value

The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for organisations, showing just how important the role of Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) and their teams are. With the focus now on resilience as a core part of business strategy and organisation’s purpose, it is more important than ever to understand the role sustainability and Chief Sustainability Officers play in operations, strategy, culture, and leadership.

Responsibilities of CSOs

The responsibilities of CSOs range from setting up sustainability policies to leading internal change initiatives. They must ensure that their organisations remain competitive by responding to changing customer needs and expectations. Additionally, they must also ensure that their organisations adhere to global standards for environmental protection and labour rights.

Moreover, CSOs need to be able to effectively communicate their strategies to stakeholders both internally and externally. This is especially true when it comes to communicating with customers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability issues such as water consumption or carbon emissions. An effective CSO will be able to engage with these stakeholders in a way that resonates with them and makes them feel like they are part of the organisation’s commitment to sustainability.

In addition to these responsibilities, CSOs must also understand the latest developments in environmental science and technology so they can develop innovative strategies that will help their organisations stay ahead of the competition. This means staying abreast of new technologies such as renewable energy sources or green building materials so they can use them effectively within their own operations.

Although some organisations are increasingly turning to Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) as an essential part of their business strategy, the high costs associated with fulfilling this role have led to many companies looking for alternative solutions.

Sustainability teams within organisations

Many sustainability teams are taking a new approach – empowering the business rather than relying on solutions from central CSO’s. This is promoting collaboration between sustainability functions and a range of internal stakeholders including CEOs, CFOs, and HR departments as well as strategy specialists, risk consultants R&D experts etc. Crucial skillsets needed include knowledge in non-financial reporting, analysis for insights & trends advocacy especially around environmental (climate) or social purpose issues along with operations execution across numerous workstreams such as supply chain due diligence if necessary. To ensure success there has been an increase in ‘Sustainability Champions’ within businesses to drive this forward.

Achieving sustainability is no longer an either-or proposition

Achieving sustainability is no longer an either-or proposition; organisations now can marry profitability and environmental responsibility. The only challenge? Doing so in a timely fashion! As businesses shift their focus to sustainability, the only challenge lies in developing an effective strategy that will reap rewards now and foster resiliency for years to come. With deliberate investment into sustainable practices, organisations can experience a ripple of positive benefits across all facets of operations. By understanding how sustainability fits into your overall business strategy, you can ensure that your organisation remains competitive for years to come!

The Disruption House (TDH) enables businesses on a budget the opportunity to identify areas where Environmental, Social & Governance standards need improvement in order meet long term sustainability goals at minimal financial cost.