How important is sustainability for leaders?
Sustainability is important. It improves the quality of our lives, protects our planet and preserves natural resource for the future generations. Sustainability should be an area of focus for everyone. We all have a moral obligation to each other and future generations to sustain the planet.
However, business leaders and leaders in general, may have an even greater obligation than the average person. This is due to the fact that business leaders are decisionmakers with the power to enforce change. Besides, sustainability is a great business since sustainability can lead to reduced costs, more innovation, improve reputation and new customers who value sustainability.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is about transformation: creating profitable, growing businesses that approach zero or even net-positive environmental and social footprints. Sustainability is also about helping and inspiring suppliers, customers, and collaborators to do the same.
The role and responsibilities of businesses and societies is being challenged. From growing income inequality to the devastation of the natural environment and the massive loss of biodiversity.
Businesses must show that they are part of the solution – not the problem. Therefore, sustainability is one of the most important aspects in a leaders work today.
A lot of organizations face increasing and often conflicting pressures to address the environmental, social, and ethical impacts of their operations. The key for many leaders today is to meet the stakeholders demands while establishing thriving businesses.
Why is sustainability important for businesses?
There are several reasons why any business, regardless of industry, should be working active with sustainability.
First of all, working actively with sustainability will make the business become more desirable for investment. Investors seek companies with good environmental, social and corporate governance (also known as the ESG).
Second of all, sustainability is a great accelerator for innovation within the business. Studies have shown, that businesses who work strategic with sustainability, are a lot more innovative than businesses that does not.
Also, companies that work with sustainability generally have a more diverse workforce. A diverse workforce foster innovation through inclusion and new communities of thinkers. With a diverse workforce, companies will also discover new perspectives and worldviews.
Finally, investing in sustainable solutions will boost the bottom line – both in the short term and long term. For instance, using the life-cycle approach will lower facility costs.
And of cause, businesses with sustainability as a core fundament will build a strong brand that will help attract skilled employees, loyal customers as well as new business partners and investors. Not to forgot current employees – a company with an ambitious sustainability strategy and policy is appealing to socially conscious employees, and will thereby help retain top talent within the business. Today, people want to work for companies with social and environmental commitments.
What makes a great sustainability leader?
As a sustainability leader you must be able to connect with both your colleagues, the business itself and the society, as well as being a catalyst who can initiate and drive change.
As a sustainability leader, you also have to be open-minded, adaptable and able to change.
Finally, tenacity is a key element of being a great sustainability leader. Change is never easy, and you will often be a lone voice in your organization. You will frequently have to repeat the exercise and be prepared fail and try things over.
Learn to design sustainable solutions
The world is demanding action to combat environmental and social challenges. Today, sustainability is simply not an option. It’s a must. But it is not just a moral call to action. It makes good business sense as well, as companies who are not leading the transition, will be punished by the market and the customers. In this transition, profits are gained by the companies who take the plunge in a sensible way.
Kaospilot’s professional program, Design for Sustainability, empowers you as a business leader, product designer, project manager or organizational development consultant to reconceptualize critical global challenges as sustainable growth opportunities for your business. It enables you to develop the strategy needed to transition to responsible business.
With sustainability issues entering board-level discussions, leaders need to develop a solid foundation. This program equips you to identify the key organizational levers to facilitate and to effectively address the demands and expectations of your stakeholders. You will learn best practice of sustainable business and strengthen your management capabilities to lead and inspire your business or organization into a sustainable future.
The program is fundamentally based on the unique KAOSPILOT methodology and pedagogical approach which is built around a rigorous training platform that dynamically combines theory, practice, reflection, and the latest academic research.
You’ll learn to translate sustainability into profit for your organization or business, and in so doing, achieve positive impacts on the society.
You will work with other future or current leaders with both case studies and group discussions, where you’ll be exposed to countless perspectives from different industries and lines of business.
The program is for anyone who wants to learn how to design better sustainable solutions. For instance, leaders, service or product designers, project managers, and development consultants.
At the end of the program, you will have a greater understanding of sustainability and how design and sustainability can be reconciled.