Creating a corporate culture of sustainability is feasible if you follow a series of steps
. It’s important to understand that embracing this new culture is a continuous process in which all the players involved must be open to change to make its effects lasting and positive. Here are some ideas on how to achieve it:1. Define what sustainability means to your firm
Organise meetings with the participation of all the company departments to make sure everyone’s involved in the process of transitioning to sustainability. The aim is to jointly define paradigms and objectives to make sure everyone’s on the same page and engaged in a common project, so as to derive greater benefits.2. Set the example
There has to be a genuine commitment on the part of management to promote sustainability, and this must be reflected in specific actions. The path to sustainability requires changing certain everyday habits such as separating waste, saving resources like water and energy, and making certain consumption habits follow more ecological lines
. It also means putting certain social skills such as tolerance and assertive communication into practice.
The best way to bring about a substantial change in corporate culture is for top and mid-level management to set the example to ensure consistency between words and actions. 3. Create ways of engaging in real interaction
Spending our lives in front of a computer disconnects us from environmental and social realities. This leads to the risk of just paying homage to the sustainability discourse without actually making a real impact within and outside the company. That’s why it’s important to organise events to foster staff conviviality, along with field trips to the countryside to become directly aware of other realities
.4. Establish clear aims
A sustainable company needs to set clear-cut aims for it to be able to measure its social and environmental impact. Such objectives should be in line with corporate values.5. Learn from your competitors
Creating a sustainable corporate culture calls for being unassuming and learning from other companies in the same line of business, particularly those already on the road to sustainability. This approach entails forging alliances rather than fostering rivalry. 6. Encourage a positive attitude
This also means practising what one preaches. Show interest in other people’s work and engage in constructive criticism; listen to others’ feedback, and thank them for their participation and commitment to the company. Show your team that good results stem from a positive approach focusing on finding solutions rather than issues. 7. Form a wide-ranging team and reduce income disparity
A key aspect of corporate sustainability is corporate social responsibility
. This means your staff should be made up of people of different backgrounds and customs, along with differently-abled persons.
Another important consideration is to reduce salary disparities between different staff levels in the firm, since this will show a real, tangible commitment.
It’s common in some companies to pay lip service to sustainability without really bringing about any significant changes. This is something that must be avoided at all costs, since it may generate more problems than benefits, thus ultimately affecting the company’s image and credibility.