A truly sustainable strategy: from perspectives to actions
More and more organisations see the importance of sustainability and in making their strategy more sustainable. As a first step, many organisations use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but according to the WEF only 0,2% of companies are really aligned with the SDGs. If you really want to put sustainability at the heart of your strategy, take a look at the following 3 areas:
- Your value stream, suppliers to end-users
- The ecosystem in which your products & services operate
- Sustainable disruption for finding radical improvements in value creation and sustainability
These areas will help you to find opportunities beyond the usual suspects (often from Life Cycle Analysis). What if we would hack Porter’s 5 Forces to build a rich portfolio of improvements?
Your own value stream (1,2,3):
First we’ll check out your value stream: Your own organisation, your suppliers and your customers/end-users. Beside analysing your biggest sustainability challenges it will also pay off to learn from your most sustainable competitors.
Suppliers will often be a part of the answers for the challenges generated above. There are two main choices here: a) choosing sustainable alternatives or b) co-create improvements together with your suppliers.
On the other side are the customers and end-users. By analysing how you are changing their behaviour, you can find out many opportunities. E.g., sometimes more sustainable products also lead to an increase in consumption, rendering the improvements irrelevant.
The Ecosystem (4):
Your value stream is part of an ecosystem. Your products & services will be used alongside other products & services. Like a mortgage is linked to a house, it is also linked to paint, flooring, and garden plants. And hotels are often combined with real-estate, interiors, food & drinks, taxi services and flying. Sometimes the biggest gains will be in the ecosystem instead of in your own value chain or businessmodel. Discover strategic partnerships to deliver positive value outside of your own services.
Sustainable disruption (5):
The final pillar that you should address in your strategy is called ‘sustainable disruption’. It is the danger of e.g., startups and innovations that are radically creating more value on multiple dimensions (ecological, social, financial). Make sure you invest in potentially fast developments and decide to lead or follow in long-term developments.