Greg Balestrero was recently interviewed by Editorial Director Aaron Smith for ProjectsAtWork.com.
The two chatted about “why organizations must develop a strategy of sustainability today in order to compete in the future, how they can embrace the change necessary to make it happen, and what role project leaders have to play in all of this.”
Take a look at some of the interview highlights.
On Organizational Survival:
“We don’t consider this a book on sustainability in the classic sense. We’re not talking so much about how to make the planet sustainable as we are about how organizations are going to have to have a positive effect on society, the environment and the global economy if they are to remain in business.”
On making a difference at the project level:
“You need to know that the key stakeholders go beyond the customer, whether they are regulators or social communities. You need to be rigorously accountable to the results for these stakeholders without being defensive. And that’s tough. To do it, you have to understand the risks beyond getting the project out the door and care about risks throughout the entire value chain.”
On long-term organizational change:
“A change in strategy is not something that will come lightly in a company. There is nothing wrong with recycling bottles within its headquarters facility — they should be applauded for it. But will it have a significant impact on the environment? Will it help them embrace challenges and risks in the future? Hardly.”
On the common traits of sustainable companies:
“[Companies succeeding at sustainability] are creating synergistic relationships. For example, Pepsi or Coca-Cola both need sugar cane and they can’t own all the farms in the world, so they are working together with a not-for-profit organization to invest in sustainable agriculture. The same thing is happening with chocolate manufacturers. These are rigorous competitors who are on the same team when it comes to sustainability.”
On his hopes for the book:
“I hope we do two things with the book: One, stimulate someone else to continue the conversation, and, two, change one company completely. If they do change, they will become significantly more competitive than anyone else in their sector, and people will say ‘we have to do what they’re doing.’”
Read the full interview at ProjectsAtWork.com.
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