Thursday, January 17, 2008

BT- and Cisco-Sponsored Paper Says Sustainability Breeds Innovation and Profitability

Focusing on sustainability can help businesses innovate and see profits, but it's a concept that has to start with leadership and be part of a company's culture, according to a paper released yesterday.

"A New Mindset for Corporate Sustainability," published by a group of international academic experts and sponsored by BT and Cisco, uses case studies to illustrate the authors' main argument that sustainability can drive commercial success and lead businesses to craft new products and services.

The paper includes 10 steps a company must take to become sustainability-driven.

The 10 steps are:

1. Make innovating for sustainability part of an overall corporate vision
2. Formulate a strategy with sustainability at its heart
3. Embed sustainability in every part of your business
4. Emphasize actions, not words
5. Set up effective board-level governance to make sustainability matter
6. Set firm rules
7. Bring stakeholders on board by engaging them
8. Use people power through recruitment, staffing, training and rewards
9. Join networks focused on sustainability
10. Think beyond reporting - align all business systems with the company’s sustainability vision

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