HRM ASIA, Issue 10.6.
How can leaders champion sustainability efforts through all levels of their organisation?
*reproduced with permission from the publisher
Regional Director, South East Asia, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
People are often afraid of the challenges and unaware of, or sceptical about, the opportunities that come with adopting sustainability. So it is essential that a clear and compelling case be formulated and communicated, whilst being relevant to all stakeholders in the organisation.
Business leaders must articulate a clear business goal and plan addressing the benefits, costs and impact of adopting sustainability, with clearly-defined and incremental targets, measures and desired outcomes. It is important that targets and initiatives are accessible to all levels of an organisation and that there is a granularity of tangible actions to be undertaken by all staff, from junior-level employees to the CEO.
Once formulated, business leaders need charisma and personal commitment to sell the plan. This can be a long process but leaders must remain committed and recognise that when other issues take priority, sustainability should remain firmly on the agenda.
Communication is key and they ultimate aim is for sustainability to become embedded in the DNA of a business.
Managing Director, PaperlinX Singapore
For PaperlinX Singapore, sustainability is one of the core principles of our business. It is about investing in our facilities, systems, brands and people so that we can continue to grow and deliver returns to our stakeholders.
It is also about Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and how we are committed to making these part of the company’s value system. We contribute in various ways to worthy causes and strive to ensure the well-being and development of our staff – about 75% of whom have been with the organisation for more than 10 years. The longest serving member has been with us for 43 years and our oldest employee is 72 years old!
In addition, we recently supported and participated in Singapore’s first Eco World Exhibition in which we presented various environmentally-friendly products in line with the “Green Solutions for Your Visual Communication” theme. Our staff were actively involved in the process. In conjunction with the event, we were pleased to be one of the finalists for the inaugural Outstanding Sustainability Awards 2010.
Group VP & CFO Asia, STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific
In today’s business world, beset by ethically-questionable practices and economic calamities, leaders need to demonstrate commitment to sustainable business practices at all levels of their organisation. It is not enough to just do well financially. Organisations also need to commit to a culture of sustainable excellence through all activities from business management to physical production, HR development and social responsibility.
At STMicroelectronics, we have a long term vision to achieve this goal. We deploy, at all levels of the organisation, hundreds of programmes for sustainable development, quality improvement, cost reduction, innovation, market share, health, safety and more. The heart of our performance really lies with our people, in their engagement and in the sharing of our company values.
Since people are the core of sustainable excellence, the sustainability of our employees is one of our key priorities, After all, if a company does not champion the sustainability of its own employees, in terms of employability, skills relevancy and economic wellbeing, then all other exhortations for sustainability will ring hollow.