On this Earth Day, it is appropriate to dedicate this blog to sustainability. There is no doubt now that sustainability will be a performance indicator for future investors in companies and it’s interesting to read corporate reports dedicated to green , sustainable priorities. While many corporations give lip service to sustainability, unfortunately, when it comes to funding such efforts many companies fall short. Fortunately, more companies are making the investment, like these that warrant mention:
- Alcoa’s executive compensation is tied to safety and environmental leadership, which includes greenhouse gas emissions.
- GE uses it in resources department to integrate sustainability into the company’s culture.
- Coca-Cola has committed to reduce water use by 25% and hired an external audit firm to monitor these results.
- At its shareholder meeting, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discussed the company’s efforts to work with suppliers and local communities investing in sustainable farming and ethical sourcing.
- Dell integrates recycle materials in its product and packaging and considers end-of-life recycling.
All are examples of leadership in sustainability that starts in the board room and becomes part of a company’s DNA.
Since sustainability is becoming important to investors, many firms are measuring corporate sustainability and ranking them according to their criteria. One notable firm is the Toronto-based Corporate Knights, who publish a list of the top 100 most sustainable companies.
For sustainability to be effective, there must be a deliberate strategy, commissioned by the Board of Directors, mandated by the CEO and driven to be part of the culture.
Is sustainability part of your company’s DNA?