Raising knowledge about sustainability is key to drive change

By Mie Skjodt in News feed, SustainX Academy

Today, it is a recognized fact that the world faces global climate challenges. This is forcing world leaders and multinational enterprises to take action and change the status quo on how they do business. However, we must all do our part as the global challenges can not only be solved by large actors. We all need to work together toward a common focus: to succeed with the global 2030 targets for sustainable development.

This is easier said than done, and naturally, it raises some questions. How do we ensure that actors are equipped to combat the challenges and navigate the many complexities of sustainability? We already see many Danish SMEs who have rolled their sleeves up, ready to embark on a new green path. There is no doubt that good intentions lie at the foundation of the endeavors to combat the global challenges of the sustainability agenda in 2022.

However, the transition often imposes boundaries that limit the acceleration. One boundary is that many actors do not have the necessary tools, know-how, or competencies to navigate the many complexities in the new world of sustainability and the triple bottom line. The lack of knowledge consequently limits the good intentions to make a change and reduce both corporate and private emission footprints. And that is a problem if we want to sustain the planet.

Luckily, there is one – relatively simple – solution: Education and knowledge sharing.

Common language

For organizations to truly succeed with their green transition, there needs to be a common ground and language for sustainability to secure a basic understanding to navigate from and act by. Without it, organizations might experience a lack of motivation and direction and miss out on their strategy’s full potential.

Often, we experience that there are as many understandings of what sustainability is as there are people in the room. But simply by creating this mutual understanding of sustainability and how that aligns with corporate strategy, organizations can ensure that KPIs and organizational targets are uniformly understood.

Strategic decisions only make an impact if the entire organization takes ownership. It hinders the transition when people are not able to take ownership or live up to their responsibility when the knowledge foundation is fragile or perhaps even missing. Even though employees do want to participate in the transition, they might not yet be capable of doing so.

Usually, the C-suite can be very far from the reality of the production, missing out on the good ideas for improvement from the people on the ground. Providing them with the proper tools and knowledge is a low-hanging fruit to obtain their ideas and gain from their experiences, strengthening your organization’s sustainability journey.

Training not only improves knowledge

There are many benefits of increasing awareness and knowledge around sustainability within an organization. The obvious ones are insights about complexities and methodologies to create clarity in decision-making. Examples of such are for project managers to fully understand frameworks like the GHG Protocol, Science-Based Targets, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Circular Business Models.

However, there are many more advantages of raising knowledge about sustainability. Training and development are essential tools to create corporate competitive advantages in the current job market, where talent is hard to attract and even harder to retain. Our surveys show that employees very often feel proud of being part of a given organization when offered sustainability training. For many employees, it also improves their job satisfaction and increases their motivation for daily tasks to be part of a company working on aspects bigger than themselves. This underlines how the development of internal skillsets and knowledge broadly in an organization is beneficial for organizational strategy and also relevant for the recruitment and retention of employees.

Seize the opportunities from education

SustainX’s mission is to ensure that everyone in the Danish production industry works with sustainability. We want to make sure that the 2030 Sustainability Agenda is realized and that organizations have the best tools at their disposal for their green transition. That is also why SustainX has launched SustainX Academy to raise the knowledge on sustainability and give you the best opportunity to realize your full sustainability potential.