There is a real fatigue around the word “sustainable”. These day every single company uses this term without much more information around how their products really are sustainable.
When speaking to C-suite leaders we have been using “Strategic Sustainability”, looking at sustainability as a strategic tool to help drive a company forward. A bit of a risk/reward approach across the ESG spectrum. “Strategic Sustainability” works in a business context but it sounds a bit too “consulting” and a not so great mash-up of 2 hyped-up words. Hyped square.
While Sustainability is now seen as more neutral, it is still usually misunderstood as just covering part of the E (just measuring your carbon footprint) missing about 90% of what Sustainability actually is.
In the US the term ESG has been weaponized and not great to use in many boardrooms. It is still also seen as “only” relevant to large companies and the financial world when really it is a great set of metrics, aspects and topics that pretty much any company should consider.
For example we have a set of Governance indicators around the topic of “ethical use of AI”. That is surely a topic that senior management should look into and decide how to handle, manage and assess.
There is a French equivalent “Durabilité”. It has its origins in production of goods but we have found that it works great in a business context: how do ensure you have a durable business?
How do you ensure that your business will be around in 2, 5 and 10 years?