Listening Deeply: How to be a Better Sustainability Professional, Sales Person, and Parent

Listening deeply was the first core value that bubbled to the surface as Sustrana began to define who “We” are and how we interact with our clients and partners. It’s integral to sustainability and good parenting, too. To survive in this world, we must become better listeners and communicators.

TCFD: Off to an Impressive Start

In December 2015, the Financial Stability Board established the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Together, these professionals set out to create guidelines for more effective climate change-related disclosures and to help organizations follow existing climate change disclosure obligations. The final TCFD report and guidelines came out in June 2017.

Core Values: How Differences Helped Define a Sustainability Culture

Today Sustrana is publishing our company’s Core Values after more than two years of work to discern and describe who we are as a company. Over the next few months, we will publish a blog on each of our five core values, linking our personal experiences and successes with each value and describing how the value supports the success of a sustainability program. We hope you sign up for our blog so you benefit from – and don’t miss – each installment of our series on Core Values.

Let’s Not Greenwash the SDGs

We’ve been fans of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since they were launched almost two years ago. They are truly this generation’s moon shot. Participation by the business community is critical to reaching the SDGs by 2030, and we are bullish on helping businesses make that happen. So what’s the problem?

Textile Exchange: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Thought leaders from around the world will gather at Textile Exchange’s Textile Sustainability Conference in Washington D.C. on October 9-13 to create action and develop a 2030 roadmap for the textile industry. To design this roadmap, Textile Exchange is framing the conference around adopting specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Textile Exchange has identified these five SDGs as the key areas where textile companies can have the greatest, most meaningful impact.

Exchange Raises the Bar for Recycling

As a global sustainability leader in the textile industry, Textile Exchange is again proving its commitment to driving transformation with updated and improved recycling standards. Raising the standard in chain of custody tracking with RCS 2.0 and encouraging innovation in reclaimed materials with GRS 4.0, Textile Exchange reminds us that sustainability is an ongoing process of continuous improvement.

 

 

GSC Announces a New 17 Weeks for 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Global Sourcing Council (GSC) helps businesses and communities align their organizational goals with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).GSC is refreshing its initiative from last fall and will be covering one SDG each week, for the next 17 weeks, with examples of how businesses are engaging in activities that will help the world achieve the ambitious SDGs by 2030.

Investors Set Sights on Human Rights and Get Some Help

If you’re like us, you probably keep an eye on sustainability trends, especially as they’re developing, so you can keep up with important changes. And if you’ve been watching what’s been going on in 2017, you may have noticed something we couldn’t miss: a recent, significant uptick in activity focused on investors’ assessments of corporate performance in human and workers’ rights (HWR).

Final Climate Related Financial Disclosure Recommendations Released by TCFD

On June 29, 2017 the Task Force on Climate Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released its Final Report with recommendations for what climate-related financial information businesses should publicly disclose. The disclosure recommendations are organized around four thematic areas: Governance, Strategy, Risk management, and Metrics and targets.

MIT Sloan BCG Release 8th and Final Sustainability Study

Over the last eight years, the MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have conducted research on global corporate sustainability. The key lessons from the 8-year study for how to get the greatest value from sustainability efforts are summarized in this year’s report, Corporate Sustainability at a Crossroads, and outlined below.

Take “The Resister” to Lunch

"Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." - Rumi

Pushback or outright obstruction from employees and managers skeptical of your organization’s sustainability program isn’t just annoying. It can also be a set back to progress and a barrier to bringing about a culture of sustainability within your organization. Fortunately, there are strategies to help aspiring change agents navigate these conversation landmines.  So who are the resisters in your organization? What conversation(s) are you avoiding with them? What new way of being and engaging do you want to try out? And most importantly...when is lunch?

Study Links Green Buildings to Higher Cognitive Function

Buildings have a powerful influence on health because we humans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors.  Recently, researchers from Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment worked with leading academic institutions to study how green buildings affect health and cognitive function. The study, funded by United Technologies, was designed to simulate indoor environmental quality conditions in both green and conventional buildings to assess the impacts on human health and cognitive function.  The implications of this study are significant.  We can improve worker productivity and safety, student learning, and patient healing by implementing better indoor air quality and ventilation. 

Engage vs. Demand: Seeing the World From the Eyes of Your Supplier

No doubt, supply chains are a critical element of sustainability success for most companies.  Yet, working on supply chain sustainability is a challenging task.  It’s hard enough to get people in your own company to change their behavior, influencing the actions of those in another company – even as a large customer – can seem nearly impossible. Check out the second installation of this Supply Chain Sustainability series.

Top Ten Stakeholder Engagement Trends of 2017

Each year, Future 500 identifies ten social, environmental, or economic trends that will shape how corporations and their external stakeholders interact during the following year and beyond.  It just released its sixth annual report, Top 10 Stakeholder Engagement Trends of 2017.  Here are some highlights.

In the context of an increasingly polarized country, many issues seem to have become a political wedge. As a result, Future 500 sees environmental protection and social justice advocates becoming more likely to seek private sector leadership to drive social and environmental progress.  Corporations will have more opportunities to engage stakeholders in advancing solutions around social and ecological equity. Market forces will support new and continuing efforts to protect oceans, forests, and climate. The report provides many insights to guide organizations as they engage with each other during what is characterized as a period of volatile change. 

A Day Without Waste 2017:  Deepening our Commitment

Last month, our company celebrated A Day Without Waste.  This event, now in its 4th year, encourages us to be more aware of our daily habits, and to apply some mindfulness and creativity to the choices we make each day. By now, many of us here at Sustrana are experienced in the art of a day-long zero waste challenge. We push the boundaries of our already impressive reduce-reuse-recycle game, which includes composting our Q-tips, packing snacks in reusable containers, cooking for our company potluck from scratch, and much more. We’ve even indoctrinated our newest team members to embrace the quest for zero waste. 

But despite our best efforts, we all encountered barriers beyond our control – limited consumer options, antiquated recycling systems, pushback from our own families and yes, even mother nature. The day had its frustrations and left us wondering: How much impact can we have as individuals if the system itself perpetuates waste?