Sustainable Everything: What C-Suite Leaders Need to Know About the New Thinking
November 24, 2010 Leave a comment
The Sustainability Mindset Crosses Industries and Disciplines
The growing sustainability mindset is not industry-specific or topic-specific. It is showing up in industries as diverse as foods, construction and social media. It reflects a concern for reducing the use of new materials, and for limiting long-term impact on the environment.
In an interconnected global economy, people are becoming more and more aware of the impact of business greed, overconsumption and pollution on our health and well-being. They are scaling back and choosing more responsibly when they do buy.
While some industries are tending to dismiss this change in consumer behavior as a trend that will pass, others have realized that the movement is deeply rooted and that they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t respond.
Sustainable Business Leadership and Integrity
People who are leading a business that is becoming more sustainable are presumably also working toward living sustainably. Making day-to-day changes and achieving a sustainability mindset is a challenging leadership responsibility and involves continuous learning and improvement (See Sustainability is a Mindset, Not a Job).
Broadly, the sustainable movement involves thinking longer-term and being more careful to avoid unintended consequences and harm (See Five Unintended Consequences of Linear Problem-Solving). Here is a sampling of the sustainability trends. Feel free to comment to share other sustainability trends not listed here.
Sustainable Living Sustainable Business
Sustainable Development Sustainable Energy
Sustainable Design Sustainable Construction
Sustainable Foods Sustainable Health
Sustainable Social Media Sustainable Consumption
Questions to Consider
1. How can I adapt my business practices to meet the new consumer’s need for sustainable everything?
2. How can my company become an industry leader and set an example for others to follow?
3. Sustainable practices are now considered the standard mode for many of today’s consumers. Thinking ahead, are we making changes as quickly as we need to? Are we staying competitive?
Linda Fisher Thornton is Owner of Leading in Context LLC, providing Tools for Ethical Leadership in a Complex Interconnected Workplace. She teaches “Strategic Thinking for Leaders” and “Leadership, Conflict Management and Group Dynamics” as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Leadership for the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.