“Sustainability is the future of management” (Steven Cohen)


In a world dominated by media images and symbolism, the difficult work of sustainably managing our organizations can take a back seat to the easier job of looking like we are accomplishing something. The operational reality of organizational behavior requires that we really understand the tasks being performed.

Who does what, when and why? How does the organization obtain the resources needed to survive and thrive? My focus here is on managing what I call the “physical dimensions” of environmental sustainability: the use of energy; the source of energy, water and materials; the reduction of waste and the environmental impact of an organization’s production; and the impact of the consumption of whatever the organization produces. The key question to be addressed is: How does an organization learn to reduce its negative impact on the environment?

Sustainability management is the future of management and is the next phase of management innovation. Sustainability must be integrated into the heart of what organizations do. In the 20th century organizations constantly evolved, adding international operations, supply chains, information technology, sophisticated marketing, strategy, finance, accounting and new forms of group processes.

Today, organizations throughout the globe are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint, minimize climate and environmental risk, enhance resiliency and incorporate sustainability into their operations. The problem is they do not know how to do it.

Companies, governments and nonprofits are recognizing they need to take these actions, but their expertise lies in their own core functions, not in developing sustainability plans and assessing operational risk within this context. To have meaningful change on sustainability, corporations, nonprofits and governments must bring it into the regular fabric of organizational life.

In the long run, we should not need a “sustainability office;” every office should become a sustainability office. Managing the physical dimensions of sustainability must now be added to standard operating procedures so that all managers become sustainability managers. Big ideas, ambitious goals and beautiful policies don’t translate into on-the-ground change until organizations change. (…)

Steven Cohen

Makalenin tam metni için: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/sustainability-future-management

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