Your company has been progressing nicely up the sustainability curve from compliance to cost savings. The next logical step is reputation and revenue generation, and itʼs here that many sustainability pros hit a roadblock. Without a CEO mandate, business units usually have little incentive to deviate from whatʼs been working in the past. Sustainability and CSR initiatives have safely been tucked away behind the scenes, dealing with internal and supply chain issues that reduce risk and cost to the business. Objections to customer-facing sustainability initiatives range from “Why put our neck out and riskgreenwashing charges?” to “Itʼs still a niche market” and “Why would we promote our values for commercial ends? Weʼre doing this because it’s right, not to make money from it.”
I recently published a post on Triple Pundit that fleshes out the market-facing aspects of a model I’ve been working on with The FairRidge Group. Called the Sustainability Management Maturity Model (SM3), it’s a tool to help businesses assess their readiness to address business sustainability challenges and opportunities. The internal management components were outlined a few months ago on Triple Pundit – Strategy, Organization, Process, Measurement and People – which all relate to an inside-out perspective of the business.