Nike once found itself in a defensive position, scrutinized for social injustices. By 2011, though, it had completely turned things around, receiving top recognition for sustainability reporting. Stewarding the company through its global sustainability strategies is Hannah Jones.
Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, aptly described as “one of America’s great weird brands,” made its U.S. debut in the late 1940s. Emanuel Bronner liked to talk about “constructive capitalism,” which he described as sharing profits with workers and going gentle on the earth. His heirs codified this concept.
Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry first noticed the need for their company when they shared a house with three friends. In looking for cleaning products that didn’t have harsh, toxic ingredients, Ryan and Lowry came up empty-handed. Thus the idea for Method home-cleaning products was kindled.
How you respond to the sustainability trend will affect the fate of your organization. Trouble is, many leaders are flailing. Take a multistage approach: Stage 1: Do old things in new ways. Stage 2: Do new things in new ways. Stage 3: Transform core business. Stage 4: Create a new business model.
Moving toward sustainability requires taking big, game-changing moves and smaller ones as well, says Walmart’s senior vice president of sustainability Matt Kistler. Walmart currently has three sustainability goals. For leaders trying to follow suit, one key is to seek out opportunities that positively affect the environment and result in cost savings, says Kistler.