The global health and economic crises have placed social and environmental issues near the top of most companies’ concerns which we have seen accelerating for two years now across all sectors.
For more than ten years, we have been convinced that our responsibility as a consulting firm is to raise awareness on sustainable development and support organizations in implementing concrete actions.
Paved with good intentions but distraught, companies often need ideas and support during their strategy’s operationalization phase. With this in mind, we met with the leaders of some twenty major international organizations and asked them about the evolution of their organization to meet environmental and social challenges as well as the triggers, brakes, and accelerators of a profound transformation.
This document summarizes these open discussions with managers about the importance of sustainable development. One thing is sure: sustainable development is on the agenda of most companies which henceforth must design its organizational structures, governance and decision-making from an environmental and social perspective.
The environmental issue is multi-layered, making it complex to grasp. Companies have difficulty comparing global ecological issues – mainly greenhouse gas emissions and removal – with so-called “local footprint”, such as waste management, water and soil pollution, and biodiversity impacts. Another difficulty lies in the close links between environmental and social issues.
How can organizations reconcile such diverse issues? We hope that through the seven themes explored in this study, companies will better tackle the situation and be able to initiate and accelerate their transformation. This summary also gives concrete examples of different organizations, their governance, and other implemented levers for action in order to support this structural change.