Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, sustainability is now mainstream. The sustainable development agenda has become an essential part of the business landscape, and the organisations that are leading the way in this field are making a difference on a global scale.
While chief sustainability officers (CSOs) are often lauded for their work (and they most certainly should!), it is important to recognize that the work of embedding sustainability into an organisation is not solely the responsibility of a single individual, but a collaborative effort that requires buy-in from all levels of an organisation, as well as engagement outside of the organisation.
It is critical to identify the various approaches that companies can take towards sustainability. This is where CSOs can make a difference, by taking a leadership role and working collaboratively across and outside of the organisation to drive sustainability initiatives forward. Successful CSOs are strategic influencers, visionary thinkers, and constant learners. They work to truly understand the business and translate sustainability commitments into actionable initiatives.
An emerging view is that the solutions need to connect and cover the three big global challenges (Climate, Nature and Inequality) in a systemic and transformative way. So, the work of CSOs is critical, but it is not (and should never be) a solo endeavour. The most effective sustainability approaches require a 'whole-of-entity' effort with strong management and board engagement.
By working together and embracing the various approaches to sustainability, companies can make a positive impact on the world, while also reaping the benefits of a more sustainable and resilient business model. In 2023, BCSD Australia will be plotting significant efforts on many of these areas with our member organisations, their CSOs, and our member network through the WBCSD. Join Us. https://www.bcsda.org.au/membership