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Sustainability challenges in organisational settings: A closer look

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In the past few days, we have engaged in fascinating discussions about sustainability challenges with both our clients and potential partners in India.

Although many organisations began their sustainability programs with great enthusiasm, most of them have struggled to sustain momentum.  After discussing this issue with several groups, we have identified some key reasons why we believe these organisations are struggling with sustainability.

1. Lack of employee engagement:

Employee engagement is critical to the success of sustainability initiatives. Organisations that fail to engage their employees in sustainability initiatives may find it challenging to create a culture of sustainability and may miss out on valuable ideas and input.

2. Lack of leadership commitment:

Sustainability initiatives require strong leadership commitment at all levels of the organisation. Without a visible commitment from leaders, sustainability initiatives may be viewed as peripheral or optional, leading to inconsistent implementation and weak results.

3. Short-term focus:

Sustainability initiatives often require long-term investments and commitments, but many organisations focus on short-term profits and immediate returns. This can lead to a lack of investment in sustainability initiatives, limiting their long-term impact.

4. Inadequate communication:

Clear and effective communication is essential to create buy-in and support for sustainability initiatives. Organisations that fail to communicate the importance of sustainability, its impact on the environment, and the benefits to stakeholders, often struggle to garner support and participation.

5. Siloed approach:

Sustainability initiatives need to be integrated across all functions of the organisation, but many organisations adopt a siloed approach, with sustainability treated as a separate department or function. This can lead to a lack of collaboration and coordination, limiting the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives.

6. Insufficient measurement and tracking:

Sustainability initiatives require clear metrics and tracking to measure their impact and progress. Without adequate measurement and tracking, organizations may not know if their sustainability initiatives are effective or not.

Addressing these challenges needs to be a long-term process that ensures sustainability becomes a core value of your organisation and not just an extended programme.

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