A new study conducted by Green Research demonstrates that executives charged with sustainability yield influence far greater than their own budgets.
“Sustainability leadership is about leverage,” said David Schatsky, principal at Green Research and author of the study. “Whether it’s deploying new technology to slash power usage at a data center, or reengineering a manufacturing process to use raw materials more efficiently, sustainability executives have to make it happen through leaders of departments throughout their companies. And that means influencing and ultimately adding dollars to other departments’ budgets to achieve sustainability goals.”
Wielding influence inside their companies is the first frontier for sustainability executives. Exerting influence outside companies is the next, Schatsky says. A number of companies are discovering that factors outside their direct control, from the practices of suppliers and logistics providers to the behaviors of their customers, can have substantial environmental impacts and need to be managed if the companies are to achieve their sustainability goals. The report finds that influencing suppliers and customers will become a trend of increasing importance for sustainability executives.