Becoming a Sustainable Organization

Why I wrote the Book

Sustainable strategy creates financial value while preserving natural and social capital. Increasingly, organizations are adopting sustainability as part of business strategy; but implementing the strategy remains a challenge creating a gap between strategy and impact. Effecting transformational change requires incorporating sustainability into organizational policies, processes, and people. Project management professionals and HR professionals are often overlooked but valuable organizational resources to drive sustainable transformation. The book lays out a framework to improve sustainability integrations. It includes case studies, lessons learned, best practices, and tools and templates to facilitate transforming into a sustainable organization.

Highlights include: 

1. Identifies the gap between sustainable strategy adoption and benefit realization providing tools and techniques to improve organizational integration success. 

2. Includes case studies from a variety of industries as well as private, public, government organizations ranging in size from small business to global organizations to provide relevant examples for your organization. 

3. Includes stories, best practices and lessons learned from leading sustainability experts. 

4. Offers history, context, and cases to support the value creation proposition of sustainability in order to support sustainability champion’s program and project proposal. 

5. Provides a framework to assess an organization’s culture of sustainability and readiness for change.

6. Provides tools and techniques to embed sustainability into core organizational values impacting people, process, and policies.

7. Highlights the importance of project management professionals in the process of driving sustainable change within an organization and provides tools to facilitate the process. 

8. Includes recommendations and case study examples to move your organization forward on its sustainability journey.

9. Provides tools and techniques to engage Human Capital Management Professionals in the sustainability transformation process through demonstrating the beneficial impacts on talent management, recruitment, and retention.

10. Downloadable tools, templates, and checklists via this website.

 Book Summary

Sustainable strategy focuses on creating financial value while preserving natural and social capital.  Increasingly, management is adopting sustainable strategy as part of their business strategy in order to garner benefits such as opening new markets, creating new products and solutions, reducing costs, improving customer relations, reducing risk, and engaging employees. However, a gap exists between strategy and benefit realization as the process of integrating sustainable strategy into people, processes, and policies is challenging. Leveraging project management and human capital professionals facilitates embedding sustainability into an organization’s culture unlocking the value creation potential of sustainable strategy on financial, social and natural capital.

Understanding the concepts of sustainability, the business value proposition, and gaining C-suite support lays the foundation for strategic alignment between sustainable and business strategy. A major focus of the book is stakeholder engagement. Moving sustainable strategy from a siloed to an integrated approach with cross-functional and multi-stakeholder engagement allows for a collaborative approach that engages both internal and external stakeholders on material issues. Concepts such as life cycle assessment and circular economy provide perspective on an organization’s entire value chain’s impact on natural, social and financial capital. Project management methodologies like the continuous improvement cycle integrate lessons learned and best practices into sustainability programs moving and organization forward on its sustainability journey. Portfolio managers facilitate alignment between sustainability and core business strategy through the portfolio component selection process promoting benefit realization. Human capital management professionals facilitate creating a sustainable workforce through ongoing engagement around environmental and social issues with current and prospective employees. In order to unlock the benefits of sustainability, the book provides a number of tools and techniques to drive change and embed sustainability.  Defining metrics, gathering and managing data, and reporting on progress provides transparency and credibility to sustainability journey. This book focuses on translating sustainable strategy into an organizational action plan in order to under take the journey toward becoming a sustainable organization.