The strategies often include ambitious targets such as being carbon neutral in 2030 or earlier. Many have also taken the first important steps, e.g. using LED power-saving lights in offices and factories, going from fossil fuel-based power to green power supply and changing the product packaging materials.
This is all well and good. But strategy and these ‘one-off’ first steps are only the beginning of a longer and bigger journey. Ahead awaits tough strategic choices, hard work and also cultural changes – here are a few examples from some of our recent client dialogues:
- International oil refinery: The market is trending towards plant-based oils, but what is the impact of this? Is it better in terms of carbon footprint? And what will be the impact on supply chain and production processes?
- Danish process technology company: How do we translate and embed our company sustainability goals into operations and supply chain? We have already plucked the low-hanging fruits. What are the levers we need to focus on in the long term?
- Danish COO: Today, we are measured on delivery performance, quality, productivity, and our key decisions are ultimately based on business cases – what weight should sustainability have? If equal, how do we then build it into our management systems? What changes do we need in terms of mindset and our daily work?
Perhaps you recognise some of these challenges and questions from your own organisation?
In short, sustainability as a strategic agenda will require operational organisations to face transformational questions and challenges. The good news is that the required toolbox is well-known; it’s just the sustainability vocabulary and metrics (SDGs, scope 1-2-3 emissions, CO2 equivalents, etc.) that are new and different.