Welcome to the New Year! Let’s make it a year fuelled by game-changing resolutions. How do we do that? Well, as individuals we determine our priorities, we make sure they are meaningful and we identify the behaviours we would like to change. To be successful, we set clear goals and targets. And to make sure we achieve them, we tell somebody else – it’s a great way to hold ourselves accountable.
For businesses, the steps are not much different. But you might be surprised by the breadth and scope of the goals and commitments some large companies are publicly setting for themselves. Recently I tracked a new trend where large companies set bold and visionary game-changing targets. (See my list of companies below.)
For the most part, these companies are based in Europe in the food and retail sectors. They have set short-term and long-term targets. They have developed holistic, all-encompassing plans. They have used stakeholder input to help identify their key sustainability impacts and opportunities. They have committed to act beyond their own operations, and the foreseeable future, to become world-class sustainability leaders in their region and sector. They recognize they don’t have all the answers and that solutions may not exist yet. They have extensive plans to engage their supply chain (including downstream actors) in their sustainability efforts. They talk about decoupling growth from their impacts. They hope to not only reduce their environmental footprint, but to restore biodiversity, natural resources and habitats and to tackle world poverty. For the most part their targets are measurable, time-bound and cover the full range of social, environmental and economic impacts. To me, these are game-changing resolutions!
Usually introduced by the CEO, the plans cover the following common impact areas:
Other notable targets and commitments are:
And speaking of co-operatives, you may recall that one of my clients, The Co-operators, was recognized as the top corporate citizen in Canada by Corporate Knights last June. As well, last year the board approved a number of measurable four-year targets for their sustainability strategy. They set targets in the areas of employees and agents, operations, clients and products, governance, investments, advocacy and their relationships. Their 2011 sustainability report, to be released in May, will have more details. Stay tuned.
The list of the companies I’ve been tracking follows. A good New Year’s resolution would be to keep an eye on their progress as you chart your own.
Here’s to a game-changing 2012!
|Marks & Spencer
Sustainable Living Plan
20 by 20 Sustainability Plan
Our Sustainability Plan
|The Co-operative Group
Ethical Operating Plan
Sustainable Development Plan
I go to Coro when I need unbiased strategic advice and expertise. There are very few people in the sustainability sphere I can reach out to who can offer both strategic and practical guidance. Coro fills a pretty unique need. She is highly attuned to best practices in sustainability and provides important insight on where sustainability is going. She liberally shares her work and her network with me.
The most recent blog posts are listed below, but you can narrow your selections by applying some filters. If you would like to start from the beginning, you may reset your selections below.
To help find the post you are looking for, you can filter by category below.
To find a post by name or keyword, search here.
We live in a volatile, uncertain and complex world. With threats of climate change, rising income inequality, social unrest, resource scarcity…
Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, has achieved the title of Canada’s Best Corporate Citizen for the second year in a row.
If you haven’t updated your sustainability or corporate social responsibility approach in the last few years, you are putting your company at risk.
Corporate social responsibility is stuck. When it emerged on the scene 20 years ago, businesses and other stakeholders had high expectations for what a focus on CSR could deliver. But the reality is that neither business nor society are on track to enable nine billion people to live well within the boundaries of the planet by 2050 – let alone 2030.
If your sustainability strategy is three or more years old, time to chart a new course with a refreshed, ambitious Sustainability Vision.