Many companies make the fatal mistake of viewing sustainability as a ‘project,’ sitting outside the traditional core business structure (Figure 14).

Or they place sustainability within an existing discipline, often HR or marketing (Figure 15).


But, in reality, it’s a complete change in attitude that must permeate the entire operation from top to bottom (Figure 16).


This philosophy of sustainability is not a project has a deep bearing on the organizational structure of a company. It is essential that sustainability becomes part of a company’s culture, providing the bedrock of all its activities or an overarching filter for all decision-making. It is also vital that proper resource is dedicated to it, even if the company starts modestly by engaging an external consultant and then builds its internal capacity to handle sustainability full time.

If the sustainability function stands alone, or is hidden away within another department, then it will be doomed to failure. There are scores of examples of where this unenlightened approach has left anyone representing the function without any executive authority to enact the change that is needed.

So, don’t do sustainability, be sustainable.