Part 1 in our series What to Expect from Sustainability Training
You’ve devoted two days away from home, traveling to Houston, NYC or Toronto, to take Sustainability Training. You understand the value of a deeper understanding of CSR (corporate social responsibility), but what exactly will the training provide?
The majority of CSE practitioners say the most valuable component is the ACTION PLAN. Of course, you won’t know this until 3 weeks after the training. CSE provides a methodology to evaluate your company’s level of development in having a Sustainability Strategy. We go over the practical applications of the methodology with case studies, exercises and discussion based on decades of experience.
At the end of the training, practitioners have the tools they need to devise a Sustainability Action Plan. The Action Plan identifies areas already part of the company sustainability strategy and schedules a Materiality Assessment (MA) to identify stakeholder concerns. An Action Plan details who needs to sponsor the effort (i.e., identifying leaders in the C-suite), a cross-organizational team, the timing of the MA, which ESG (environment, social, governance) pillars are of greatest importance and how the company can pull these pieces together over a two-year timeframe.
Integral is the MA which helps the company determine which CSR issues, ESG concerns or UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the most impactful to the company. The MA directly engages stakeholders who impact the company and who the company affects in turn. It results in a Feedback Report that contains the specific content for the strategic roadmap. The feedback report includes the results of stakeholder engagement and C-Suite executives’ assessment, together with a Materiality Matrix, to help set strategic priorities.
Following the Action plan, after an MA and results of a gap analysis (Risks), the company can design initiatives and goals for Environment, Local Communities and Products that will increase stakeholder value, reduce potential risk and improve corporate performance. The Action Plan often serves as a tool to provide impetus to nascent sustainability efforts. Using the Action Plan, you emerge as a sustainability champion, and it can lead to promotion thanks to your efforts and follow-through.
Check out the strategic roadmap for 2020 for Anderson Development that we helped developed in 2018.
To learn how to complete an Action Plan, attend one of our next Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2019 to be held in Houston, September 26-27, 2019 San Francisco 15-16 October and Toronto, Oct. 31-Nov. 1. This course offers pragmatic methodology and tools to implement a corporate sustainability program. This is the “how to” course for identifying stakeholders, material issues, goals, implementation and reporting.