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Integrating Sustainability into Your Organization

Nov 08, 2016
Photo of Annette Verschuren Annette Verschuren (guest author)
CEO of NRStor, Co-Chair of Smart Prosperity,
and author of Bet on Me

Chief executive officers (CEOs) and leadership teams need to promote sustainability for it to become embedded into the corporate culture. When they do, they realize innovation, productivity, and efficiency benefits for the company. I have seen this over the course of my business career. I know it works and I know you can make money while becoming a sustainable corporation. If there’s one thing that will prevent you from getting results and capitalizing on your best ideas, it’s waiting for the perfect plan. I find the same with pursuing sustainability—it doesn’t matter how sustainability gets done, just get it done! Many corporate social responsibility (CSR) practitioners want to know how they can get their sustainability ideas in front of the CEO. My advice is to go through your direct reports first and, if this doesn’t work, find allies and champions in other departments that can help you get your innovations before the CEO. I believe CEOs should be tapping into the full workforce for their ideas―this is the only way to really drive innovation in a company.

I shared all these ideas at a recent Facebook Live Chat sponsored by The Conference Board of Canada. It was an honour to help the Conference Board kick off their new Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Institute this October via this unique Facebook conversation with CSR practitioners across the country. (Here is a link to the discussion if you missed it.)

I encourage CSR and sustainability practitioners to get involved with the Conference Board’s new institute. It is developing into the foremost independent, science- and sustainability-based knowledge organization fostering Canadian corporate responsibility and sustainability leadership. I see it as a go-to CSR resource for executives and leaders in Canada. What makes it unique is its focus on “next generation” practices in corporate responsibility and sustainability, tackling global megaforces, and accelerating and scaling corporate solutions and responses.

Today, the new quest for business is to “make profits with purpose.” The Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Institute at The Conference Board of Canada can help you find out how.

The views and/or opinions expressed in this article belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect The Conference Board of Canada’s position. Responsibility for content accuracy also rests with the author(s).

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