Five learnings from day two of Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit in NY

Adaire PutnamBy Adaire Putnam

1. The long-term availability of water is fast becoming a key consideration in the investment decisions of leading companies.

2. Global life and material sciences company Royal DSM ties half of all exec long- and short-term variable pay to the company’s sustainability targets.

3. Increasingly, sustainability is a key consideration in acquisitions and innovation (R&D) strategies. What is the sustainability profile of the potential acquisition? How can it be improved? Is the innovation more sustainable that what it replaces? What is the sustainability profile of the new product idea?

4. For company-sponsored social projects to be sustainable for the long-term, there should be a profit motive. For this reason, those that work best live somewhere along the organization’s supply chain.

5. According to Gallop, 66% of global employees are disengaged. Because working for companies with a social conscious is very important to millennials, it’s important to engage them in and communicate about this work frequently.

My key takeaways:

  • Framework – Use the UN Sustainable Development Goals to identify the issues material to your business.
  • Focus – Commit to addressing those areas where you can have an impact.
  • Friends – There is no need to go it alone. Work with partners to develop and advance your approach.

And a final fun fact: All Formula One cars are required to be hybrids.

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