12 Trillion Reasons To Be A More Sustainable Company

(This blog was originally posted on the Sustainable Brands website.)

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define a world that promises a flourishing future for human civilization on spaceship Earth. Some companies already embrace the SDGs as their aspirational environmental and social goals. Other companies hesitate, in case attaining some or all the goals’ 169 associated targets by 2030 would be at the expense of company success. There are 12 trillion reasons why their hesitation is unjustified.  Read more

98% of Sustainability Initiatives Fail. What the …?!

Failing grades without compelling business cases

Last month, Bain & Company published a rather shocking report, “Achieving Breakthrough Results in Sustainability.” The title is encouraging; its findings are not. Based on a survey of over 300 large companies engaged in sustainability efforts, it found that 98% of sustainability initiatives fail. What the …?! Read more

4 Ways That Stone Soup is a Metaphor for “Ultbook”

The more I refine the business cases in the beta release of the Sustainability Advantage Ultbook, the more I appreciate that it is Stone Soup. Before outlining the 4 ways that Stone Soup is a metaphor for Ultbook, here is a quick refresher on the Stone Soup story. Read more

5 Reasons for Hope on Climate Change, Despite Trump

trump-pinoccio-nose

One of the leadership paradoxes explained in The Leadership Champions Guidebook is: “Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.” Things really got worse on the climate change file with the election of Donald Trump. However, after we overcome our shock and denial, we sustainability champions are quickly working our way through the anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance phases in Kubler-Ross’s personal change curve. Energized by 5 reasons for hope on climate change, despite Trump’s election, we are cranking up our efforts to mitigate climate destabilization and make things better. Read more

3 Weighting Factors for the Business Case for Sustainability

ultbook-weighting-approaches

What if the financial business case for company action on a pressing environmental or social issue is not good enough? Even after estimating all the direct and indirect benefits with the help of the new Sustainability Advantage Ultbook, and rechecking all the data and assumptions used in its calculations, the return on investment looks disappointing. Then what? Don’t despair. Depending on how the 3 weighting factors for the business case for sustainability are applied, the sustainability initiative may still get the flashing green light from executives. Read more

3 Purposes Are Better Than 1

Company purposes have evolved. The usual explicit purpose of a company is to provide products and services that improve the wellbeing of stakeholders like customers or shareholders. That’s a necessary purpose, but it is no longer sufficient. To multiply the power of its purpose, a company needs to be purposeful about its intended positive impacts on the wellbeing of two critical implicit stakeholders: the environment and society-at-large. That is, “3 purposes are better than 1.” Read more

UltBook: Answering the Big 3 “Whys”

Suppose your company launches several sustainability initiatives and then the sponsoring executives move to another company. The replacement executives are new to “sustainability” and push back, saying “Tell me again why we should bother with all this environmental and social stuff?” When executives ask that overarching “Why” question, they seek answers to the Big 3 “Whys” for any value proposition, especially sustainability initiatives. Read more

The 6-Point Publishing Strategy for “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook”

The situation is urgent. We need to accelerate corporate action on sustainability issues, especially on climate destabilization. So far, we have been ineffective in marshaling sufficient corporate leadership on impending social and environmental challenges. One reason is that sustainability champions have been ill-equipped to convince hard-nosed business executives that it is in their company’s interest to help. We need a more usable, complete, and compelling business case tool. My new book will will fill that need. My last blog,  Coming Soon: “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook,” provided three reasons why the “ultimate” descriptor is appropriate. Here is my 6-point publishing strategy for The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook to ensure that it is available to, and usable by, worldwide legions of sustainability champions by November. Read more

Coming Soon: “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook”

The Sustainability Advantage (2002) explained the original version of the Sustainability Advantage Worksheets. Together, they showed the bottom-line benefits of implementing best sustainability practices already used by many companies. The New Sustainability Advantage (2012) and its accompanying new version of the Sustainability Advantage Worksheets, published on the 10th anniversary of the first book, recalibrated the original business case based on more compelling best practices used by companies in the 2002-2012 time frame. In November, I will publish the third “book” in the series, cleverly disguised as an Excel workbook. The working title of this combined e-book and worksheets is The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook. The Workbook will be”ultimate” in three ways. Read more

Announcing: 5 Firsts for the Future-Fit Business Benchmark

F2B2 R1For several years, I have worked with the Future-Fit Foundation to develop a Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Work began in mid-2012. We had two public drafts, in 2014 and 2015 and received hugely helpful feedback from the sustainability practitioner community. This week, the Future-Fit Foundation launched Release 1 on a jazzy new website. Ta dah! There are 5 firsts for the Future-Fit Business Benchmark – Release 1 (F2B2 R1) that make this a significant milestone. Read more