Overcoming the Obstacles of Sustainable Growth

Due to the rise in global warming contributing to adverse climate change, public expectation for corporations and municipalities to be held accountable for their actions is a pertinent issue. Thus, leading organizations have begun to develop and implement a myriad of sustainable strategies to facilitate the manner they operate. To not greenwash (Willers & Kulik, 2011) brands but instead report on corporate efforts, environmental activists and government bodies are emphasizing the need for sustainability reporting to be as important as financial reporting. “One of the key drivers behind the increase in sustainability reporting has been the acknowledgment that to be meaningful, a sustainability strategy must be based on reliable, concrete data. This can only be the case once the mechanisms and systems for reporting the facts are put in place” (University of Toronto, 2015).

More organizations are recently starting to overcome their obstacles of sustainability in regards to reporting by implementing strategies that adhere to “the practice of measuring, disclosing, and being accountable to stakeholders for organizational performance against specific environmental, social and economic/governance objectives” (University of Toronto, 2015). Companies in the public spotlight have a tremendous role to play as influencers when it comes to giving back vice taking from the environment, wasting less and being socially responsible leaders. However, hard data through reporting mechanisms is necessary to support their efforts possessing optimal meaningful results in the future; therefore, social proof is key.

Therein, my leadership opportunity over the next two years is to not only to change the way organizations repurpose their physical assets, but also influence the mechanisms in which they use to report on their repurposing activities. I plan to accomplish this by leading and assisting my team to bring our data-driven organization eevig CSR Solutions (eevig) to serve as a platform that has the capacity to influence a broad market of diverse global corporations regarding asset repurposing.

eevig is a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) tool that facilitates organizations to extend the life cycle of unneeded items, divert them from the landfill and report on environmental and social stewardship through data. eevig’s platform attempts to accurately measure an organization’s asset relocation impact within their community and the environment at large. Redundant assets are diverted from landfills and used by needful entities such as registered charities, nonprofits, students, refugees and veterans.

Our CSR tool will reduce the rate of landfill disposals and contribute to holding corporations and municipalities accountable for their physical asset management and unnecessary waste. Humanity must not abandon capitalism but instead strive to maximize the principles that capitalism is comprised of so that the pursuit of profit is not merely financial, but additionally fueled by enlightened environmental and self-interest, in this case ironically one that significantly reduces “environmental damage caused by economic growth” (Macdonald, 2016). The present market craves sustainable options to maintain economic growth, as a result, my opportunity to create a platform over the next two years to help reduce adverse effects on the environment are extremely favorable.

Success will be measured in:

  • Initial buy in from customers, i.e. registration, platform use
  • Tonnage of assets diverted from landfills
  • Number of recipients of repurposed assets

Fearing the position the world has adopted over the last 200 years has led me to devise ideas to positively influence capitalism and the desire for continual growth and profitability despite an evident ecological crisis. If change does not transpire, I fear what the next 50 years will look like because of corporate self-interest and environmental negligence. Therefore, taking full advantage of the leadership opportunity ahead of me is of dire importance.

References

Macdonald, D. (2016). Lecture 11 Series. (University of Toronto, Performer) Toronto.

University of Toronto. (2015). Sustainability Reporting. Sustainability Reporting . Toronto: School of the Environment, University of Toronto.

Willers, C., & Kulik, A. (2011). CSR as Corporate Strategy vs. “Greenwashing”: CSR as a New Paradigm of Brand Management? Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

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One thought on “Overcoming the Obstacles of Sustainable Growth

  1. Thanks for the blog, your personal leadership challenge sounds an excellent initiative.

    There has certainly been a marked shift in sustainability reporting in the last two years. The establishment of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a particularly significant development which will equip investors with the data they need to adequately assess climate risks and opportunities, and re-allocate capital accordingly. The TCFD’s unique contribution is its forward looking scenario planning in which companies will stress test themselves against future climate scenarios. But TCFD isn’t the only significant reporting initiative. The creation of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) also represents a major step forward in corporate transparency. The WBA will rank companies on their performance in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals and publish sectoral league tables. In so doing the WBA will harness the competitive spirit of business and turn sustainability into a competitive sport.

    I love your initiative’s aim of harnessing sustainability reporting to reduce waste to landfill and instead divert it to people that need it. It’s a sad indictment of our times that such an idea is so novel, as it seems such common sense. Let’s hope that your project kickstarts a change in mindsets that makes such initiatives mainstream in future. I look forward to hearing more about your progress.

    Like

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