processesAligning our processes with our sustainability goals increases the likelihood that those goals will be achieved. Avoiding mixed messages also ensures that people feel confident and consistent in their contribution to the sustainability vision.

Research on this enabler…

  • A review of the organisational consequences of implementing the ISO 14001 environmental management system found that “management involvement is a crucial factor in boosting the emergence of real behavioural changes.”
  • A literature review into sustainable purchasing found that “businesses that engage in a range of sustainable purchasing and supply practices tend to perform better”.
  • An analysis of sixteen different systems for embedding sustainability across organisations concluded that no one approach is without its limitations, and that the “least addressed elements of the company system have been organisational systems and procurement and marketing”.

Strategies for improving this enabler…

  • Review all organisational policies and processes through a sustainability “filter”. Is this process working for or against our sustainability goals?
  • Prioritise the processes and policies which need amending, based on which ones have the biggest impact, and are easiest to change.
  • Procurement processes are one of the highest impact and most important areas to tackle.
  • Get a team involved – organisational processes are too vast and complex for the environmental staff to tackle on their own.
  • If you don’t already have one, consider developing a sustainability framework, which contains such elements as a sustainability vision, strategies and actions/projects for embedding sustainability in your organisation

Best Practice Examples…

  • Kimberly Clark goes to great lengths to align sustainability across its operations, including sustainable sourcing, challenging and specific targets, and employee engagement
  • An overview of Intel’s sustainability journey provides a great insight into the complexity and detail required to align operations with sustainability goals in an IT giant

How Awake can help…

  • The qualitative (written response) items in the Sustainability Culture Indicator are a particularly useful source of information as to which processes in the organisation are seen as supporting or preventing achievement of sustainability goals. These can also be customised to drill down into specific areas of interest.
  • Awake can design and facilitate other forms of research, including focus groups which use innovative processes to support employees to identify and prioritise processes and policies which need change.

Other useful resources…