Where the culture of an organization isn’t quite ready to discuss sustainability purely in terms of environmental and social values (it’s likely that most organizations are already prepared to have a discussion about financial sustainability), there are several proxies that can stand in for them while they develop within the culture. For example, sustainability often aligns with the drive for efficiency, whether in terms of cost-reduction of enhancing performance and productivity.
This creates a great opportunity to create a sustainability agenda under the very real guise of efficiency and effectiveness.
Another approach might be on product or corporate brand differentiation. While there are no accepted standards for actually valuing brand in financial terms (there are several frameworks offered by different advertising, brand management, and consulting corporations, however), most leaders and managers do already accept that brand differentiation does have value in forming a more meaningful connection with customers. Even if this can’t be measured well, many executives will accept sustainability as a principle if it can be shown that customers or industry will respond in brand recognition and admiration.
Where the culture of an organization isn’t quite ready to discuss sustainability purely in terms of environmental and social values… there are several proxies that can stand in for them while they develop within the culture.