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Zooming in to Sustainability Transformation in light of COP26

Annabel Tonge by Annabel Tonge

Zooming in to Sustainability Transformation in light of COP26

Our approach to understanding sustainability in organisations

It is embedded within Q5’s DNA to take a multifaceted approach to transformations that are custom built for the organisations and individuals we work with. This is no different when we consider sustainability transformation for our clients.

What has become clear in the last 12 months, if not before, is that sustainability challenges are as much challenges of organisation design as they are challenges of purpose. It is so much bigger than simply switching off the lights.

As world leaders come together in Glasgow for COP26, it is clear now, more than ever, that there are significant decisions to be made in the private sector as to how the future of our businesses align to wider societal values.

This alignment between societal and private sector values places the onus on business leaders to recognise their operations not solely from a profit perspective, but one of purpose too. This places new demands on organisation leaders, who must face and manage competing stakeholder pressures, alignment of goals and other internal challenges to enact positive change in the interest of a sustainable future. For some industries, this is more easily said than done, and Q5 has seen various clients from differing sectors face unique sustainability questions across their organisations. There are some shared challenges too…

A while ago, we shared with you our five core ‘Sustainability Fundamentals’; the steps an organisation must undergo to ensure a successful transformation.

These fundamentals are shown in the inner circle of our model below and covers understanding risks, setting a clear strategy and targets, engaging all stakeholders, innovating to find solutions and aligning the whole organisation behind a system-wide transformation.
Extending beyond the Fundamentals, the ‘focus areas’ on the outer circle provide a further layer of detail on the organisational levers which must be addressed to ensure a holistic transformation. Targeted interventions can then be provided for “problem areas” or those parts of the organisation requiring “sustainability uplift”.

Leadership serves as the heart of our model as it is the means by which all of our fundamentals interact and align to achieve the organisations sustainability aims. This model shows just how diverse a sustainability transformation needs to be to achieve a successful transition. With this in mind, there are naturally competing demands on resources, energy and coordination, which has proved to be a challenge to many organisations we have worked with outside the sustainability world.

Fortunately, there is method to the madness, and Q5’s approach gives business leaders a logical approach which allows organisations to continue their internal operations. It is an opportunity to sweep sequentially across its organisation without jeopardising current success. The benefit of this approach gives leaders the opportunity to make ‘targeted interventions’ in sustainability hot-spots, and by doing so, rapidly realign themselves with their wider sustainability strategy, without having to reinvent the wheel.  

If you’d like to hear more please contact us: Contact Us – Q5 Partners



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