HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR TOP MANAGEMENT
TO ‘BUY-IN’ TO THE SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA?
The importance of ‘executive sponsorship’ has never been more highlighted for me than it was in a session at the recent GRI con- ference in Sandton.The session included feedback from the 2015 Global ERM SM Survey in which respondents ranked top manage- ment participation ahead of all other issues, in terms of its ability to affect value creation in the reporting process.There was much discussion in our group and a colleague at my table described what in her view constituted ‘buy-in’ that is sustainable and valuable:
- Espoused engagement – management should go beyond in- volvement and should visibly adopt and endorse the process.
- Modelling – top management must model their behaviour against espoused engagement so that others might model
the behaviour of top management.
- Alignment with existing systems – management buy-in
must fit with existing systems and structures and not add complexity.
An authentic sustainability process should trigger or amplify growth, innovation, efficiency, employee engagement and much more. In order to increase buy-in we should simply be trying to describe and demonstrate this link.
I hope you enjoy the selection of articles that we have compiled in this “Sustainability Week” issue. As usual we welcome your feedback and any insights that you may wish to share on green economy issues.