Sustainability Strategy Project
Developing a sustainability strategy
We worked with a specialist B2B consultancy who had been feeling the stresses of increased interest in their sustainability performance via: customer pre-qualification questionnaires, increased environment reporting requirements, competitors leading on the sustainability agenda, and employees complaining that the business was out of touch.
‘Bottom-up’ interest in sustainability was strong, but because this was not matched by leadership interest, significant frustration had occurred among the employee base.
Two directors brought us in to help them kick-start their journey.
What we did
Because sustainability had not been embraced by the Board, we focused our first stage of strategy development on identifying their current approach and performance via our ‘Current state’ analysis, and a review of the marketplace and stakeholder expectations. This helped us establish what was and was not being managed well – and what the missed opportunities were. We presented this business case to the Board and got buy-in to develop the strategy so that they could embrace the responsibilities and opportunities from being a sustainable business.
Stage 2 of the process kicked-off with a gap analysis of performance vs. stakeholder expectations. Then we explored their level of ambition and 5-year vision, to identify what they wanted to aim for, and if this was in keeping with expectations and responsibilities. This helped us prioritise their bespoke starting point, reinforced with a materiality analysis and competitor review to identify the issues and opportunities most material to them. Once we had designed their strategy framework, we then identified their key targets and flagship projects and mapped out their 5-year implementation plan.
The company is only at the start of their 5-year plan, but the most significant shift is the uplift in employee engagement due to the leadership team finally embracing sustainability.
The strategy is acting as a portal for innovative ideas, services, and more efficient ways of working to emerge. At a practical level, complying with customer requests and reporting requirements is now a lot easier.
The Marketing team have evolved their brand story and are developing a strong position and market voice.
The Board now understand that being a sustainable business is the business strategy and are talking about making their next organisational strategy cycle their sustainable business cycle; because they need to be one and the same thing.