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Research Report: Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture

Posted: Monday 3 May 10, 7.03pm GMT

Many business leaders recognize that the true value of sustainability is realized only when sustainability is embedded into their organizations' cultures. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports often describe sustainability as "part of our DNA" or "the way we do business"; however, business leaders lack a clear framework for systematically embedding sustainability into organizational culture. To learn more, download the report Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture.

The secrets to weaving sustainability into company DNA

Many business leaders recognize that the true value of sustainability is realized only when sustainability is embedded into their organizations’ cultures. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports often describe sustainability as “part of our DNA” or “the way we do business”; however, business leaders lack a clear framework for systematically embedding sustainability into organizational culture.

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and the Network for Business Sustainability have produced such a framework following a recent workshop of senior sustainability and HR executives. Convened by Barb Steele of CBSR and facilitated by Professor Tima Bansal of the Richard Ivey School of Business, the workshop asked participants how they integrate CSR into their organizational cultures.

The best practices that emerged from the workshop are presented in a five-part framework, and leaders’ insights were distilled into the following top three “secrets” to creating a sustainable culture:

Collaborate with other organizations. Find NGOs and other businesses who value sustainabilityand work with them to implement environmental and social programs.

Create a safe place for bold ideas. Reframe business innovation within the context of sustainability.

Tap into grassroots employee energy. Empower employees to be sustainability champions within the organization and encourage them to set their own sustainability targets for performance reviews.

Sustainability and HR professionals are encouraged to map their own sustainability initiatives against the report’s five-part framework and to identify the specific practices that could help them further integrate sustainability into their own organizations’ cultures.

To learn more download the report Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture.




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