By Nelson A. Switzer

As we watch some of the modern day’s corporate behemoths fall like domino’s, more and more corporations are searching for an answer to the question, “What are the issues of which we must stay abreast – and how far ahead do we as a management team need to look?” The answer to this question requires a fundamental shift to the front foot, but only if corporations first acknowledge the gap that exists in their management team’s ability to successfully manage the risks and opportunities of sustainability – environmental, social and economic sustainability. A recent white paper called Filling the Gap from my firm, asherleaf consulting inc., examines the nature of the sustainability management gap, the risks of allowing the gap to go unmanaged and appropriately, how to fill it.

There is no question that corporations are faced with challenges they must overcome if they want to survive, let alone prosper. Some challenges, which can leave even the most successful corporations in a state of managerial stasis include:

  • managing the passion of employees
  • meeting the expectations of customers
  • mitigating regulatory risks such as water and carbon compliance costs

Of course, there is a way to navigate these obstacles. Taking simple steps can help make this seemingly insurmountable obstacle but a speed bump on the road to sustainable long term profitability. Some of these include:

  • appointing a senior member of the board or management team:
  • assembling data, setting goals and measuring progress
  • listening to, rather than just taking to, your stakeholders

The full report, Filling the Gap: understanding and filling the sustainability management gap can be found by clicking HERE.

Nelson A. Switzer is president & chief sustainability officer at asherleaf consulting inc.

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