Dozens of questions were submitted during the post-keynote Q&A session. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to answer them all so we will be responding to your remaining questions via a series of blog posts.
In our last Q&A post we talked about contributing to environmental sustainability on a smaller scale, whether it be as individual consumers or as a 30-person company. Which brings us to our next topic: Who is really responsible for large-scale sustainable change?
Is it government or business? Entrepreneurs or corporate executives? Nathalie Udo and Greg Balestrero weigh in.
1. What is best way to persuade communities to be sustainable? In my point of view, sustainability rules should come from government as strategy, issue laws, etc. – Cesar V., Colombia
I don’t disagree, but we wrote this book because we felt that government was not acting fast enough, due to their inability to grasp the magnitude of the situation and the polarity of beliefs in the constituents they represent. That is why we see companies as an enabler for solutions. Yes, government should enact regulations and policies to address long-term issues, which may have a negative impact on their constituents. However, governments are notoriously short-sighted and regulations and policies are often enacted when the problem has already had a negative impact.
Knowledge of the potential and growing threat is critical. Take action by helping your community and your company, and understand the implications of ignoring action now. Most democratic governments worldwide have ways to get involved as a volunteer. Don’t wait for regulations, it will be too late. Act now to help the governments establish the right kind of motivation to get people and companies to change.
2. From your studies is sustainability more often driven top-down, bottom-up or by other drivers? As a practitioner of Business Process Management/Transformation tools, I’ve seen how it can be used to evolve and drive corporate greening and sustainability where it might not otherwise happen. I was wondering what you found. – Carolyn B., Canada
We found that it evolves from three basic directions.
– The organization is founded on social, economic, environmental and ethical values which, from the beginning, naturally lead to a fully integrated strategy.
– There is an “awakening” of a key leader that will drive and transform the organization. The leader may have had a realization based on a key global event, a competitor’s transformation, or some other public impact on their business. They may have a step-wise approach to transformation, perhaps beginning with zero waste.
– The organization changes reluctantly as they are forced to due to loss of market share, regulatory demands or customer decisions to shop elsewhere.
Regardless of whether the organization is aggressively pursuing sustainability or kicking and screaming through the transition, the critical enabler is to build a strategy that works.Read More