Strategic Partnerships

Conversations at this level about sustainability can open the door for strategic partnerships with other organizations, both for mutual sup­port and for more successful implementation. Sometimes, this helps minimize risks of retali­ation or ridicule (such as from issue-oriented NGOs and watchdogs). Other times, this can add or help develop important, sometimes expensive, new tools, materials, processes, or other solutions in order to speed the realization of better practices and offerings. Seemingly unlikely alliances are now commonplace (such as between Home Depot and the Forest Stew­ardship Council, or McDonald’s and PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). These alliances aren’t simply “cover” or valida­tion for companies to dress themselves in more acceptable guise. Most issue-oriented NGOs already have considerable expertise in their domains that organizations would spend too

much time and money trying to duplicate oth­erwise. These alliances can be critical to speed the effectiveness in developing, implementing, and maintaining a sustainable agenda.