How to Keep a Bead on Sustainability’s Moving Target

How to Keep a Bead on Sustainability’s Moving Target

What was “green enough” yesterday may be the price of admission tomorrow.

Sustainable reporting for the corporate world isn’t new—formal standards have been around since the late ’90s—but in the last 3–5 we’ve noticed a significant rise in the number of companies who are embracing it. Yet at the same time, it’s also becoming clear that the goalposts are moving. There’s a growing demand, much of it from inside corporate America, for more transparency, accountability, and attention to your organization’s effect on the entire supply chain.

Part of this is by design. Organizations like the Global Reporting Initiative, the Green Building Council, and other advocacy groups regularly review and increase their reporting standards. Their openly-stated intention is to raise the floor every time they raise the bar.

In construction, for example, accessibility standards for wheelchair-bound visitors were gradually phased in over time, and are now a standard part of many building codes. Advocates of sustainable building practices are now working to bring about similar changes, steadily increasing the requirements for green building certification while highlighting their economic benefits.

These changes aren’t being implemented without resistance, and there is occasional backtracking, but architects and contractors who adopt them not only have a stronger story to tell, they’re beginning to enjoy some advantages over competitors who do not. For example, a green building rating known as LEED Silver is becoming a standard requirement for many government and public buildings. In addition, green building practices are on the rise even in projects that don’t seek official certification.

Depending on your industry, you may or may not have a choice about whether you need to address sustainability right now. But even if you don’t see a pressing need today, our advice to any business is to take a proactive approach now. For a strategic and tactical process you can implement today to start getting the most out of your own sustainability story, download our NEW ParaThink Briefing: Beyond Green: The Expanding Role of Sustainability. It’s hot off the press today! Click here to get your free copy.

Want to review your own sustainability strategy—or anything else that’s on your mind? Set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with us by clicking here.

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