When we think of sustainability, often the images conjured up are changing light bulbs, switching off taps and putting things into recycling bins. Certainly, these initiatives are essential, specially in the face of rising global populations and wealthier middle classes consuming more. But is real behaviour change occurring? And is it happening quickly, and broadly, enough? What else can be done to help bring sustainability into the mainstream?
While information programs and education will remain key platforms of engagement, as will “stick” approaches to change people’s behaviour (such as a price on carbon, congestion taxes, landfill levies), other areas are emerging, such as the use of art and games. Read the rest of this entry »
The speed and ease of information sharing by consumers, clients and activists across social networking platforms is helping raise the transparency of business operations, brands, products and services. No matter where producers, consumers, clients and concerned citizens are located, they now have access at their finger-tips information about the environmental and social impacts of various businesses through downloadable apps or the many sources of information via internet search engines.
The explosion in the use of the internet and social networks, supercharged by mobile computing devices, cloud computing and an unprecedented ability to mine an abundance of data and knowledge, poses a profound challenge to businesses, large and small. It opens businesses up to increased scrutiny of business performance, its values and how those values are integrated into core business operations. Read the rest of this entry »
In “The Business Guide to Sustainability”, the authors make the case that sustainability is an extension of other organisational changes in response to a society that increasingly raises its expectations of business over time.
In the early 1900s, codes of ethics and government policies were imposed to limit monopolies, misleading product claims and dodgy business dealings. The organised labour movement followed, demanding greater occupational health and safety on the job and better quality of work life. Originating in Japan, the quality movement arrived in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Now there are increasing expectations that business integrates environmental stewardship and greater social responsibility into their models.
Trends that shape the business landscape matter. Innovative managers and bold business experimenters that react quickly to such forces, or even better, anticipate them, can use them to advantage. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to strategy, sustainability, collaboration, social media and crowd-sourcing for better outcomes are increasingly finding their way into conversations. A more participatory mode of strategy development can help improve final outcomes by pulling in diverse perspectives that can enrich plans and provide greater oversight and insight.
So it is that I find myself on the steering committee for the Sydney Coastal Council’s Group, “Becoming Social” project.
The Sydney Coastal Councils Group is a voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils (ROC), established in 1989 to promote coordination between Member Councils on environmental issues relating to the sustainable management of the urban coastal environment. Read the rest of this entry »