Sustainability within corporate America has become mainstream. Once relegated to the basement office as far as possible from the C-suite just a decade ago, companies from Nike to Ford Motor to yes, Walmart, are taking sustainability seriously. Most companies do not have strategies in place to address climate change and other social, governance and environmental challenges, but change, slowly, is occurring. Companies feel enough pressure from outside stakeholder groups. But what about from the inside?
To that end, the Weinreb Group, VOX Global and Berkeley’s Net Impact chapter together issued a report this week, Making the Pitch: Selling SustainabilityInside Corporate America. The report, based on interviews of thirty-two sustainability executives and managers working primarily at Fortune 100 companies, is an effort to understand the skills, business drivers and collaboration strategies necessary in order to sell, implement execute sustainability and corporate responsibility strategies within companies. The lessons are transferable to just about any practitioner, from the solo consulting shop to a chief executive officer.
“By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.” – Line from The Devil Wears Prada, 2006.
Speaking of a glacial pace, the reasons why sustainability is not progressing at the rate at which advocates would like to see are complicated. They can, however, be summed up at a higher level. The three key factors, according to this report, are subject matter expertise, the ability to quantify the value of an initiative, and most importantly, interpersonal skills.
Originally published on Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission