Seven ‘Deadly Corporate Sins’​ – How to influence the giant


The Guardian’s John Vidal has published a blog entitled; ‘The seven deadly things we’re doing to trash the planet (and human life with it).’

Whilst Vidal’s thoughts ring true in many ways, at Content Coms we like to look for practical solutions to corporate sustainability, and focus on the positives.

Nonetheless, we do share some sentiments with Mr Vidal. He comments that the free market economy built around ‘hyper consumerism’ celebrates speed, obsolescence and quantity over longevity and efficiency.

He also notes that corporates set the world’s technological and economic direction, govern trade and industry and control the burning of fossil fuels.

Corporates, Vidal says, employ just a few million people, but wield huge power over governments and global bodies.

13367079 - red apple with bite

Tempting? The original sin.

If all these thoughts are true, what can we do to influence things? As experts in energy efficiency, CSR and sustainability strategy, we felt it would be interesting to share our list of Seven Corporate Sins, offering new approaches we believe help everyone raise their game.

Content Coms Sin No. 1: LYING

If we’ve no transparency, we can’t move forward, either as corporates or a global society. The first step to problem solving is admitting a problem exists. From CSR reports shrouded in rhetoric to technical fears on Hinkley C’s functionality, let’s start by admitting where we must do better.

Face the issues; don’t bury them.

Content Coms Sin No.2

ASSUMING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

All too often, corporates new to sustainability vilify the world around them. Don’t. Your Chinese competitor may well be spewing CO2 into the atmosphere. It may also be manufacturing goods that are vastly improving the healthcare, quality of life and future for billions of Chinese people and their children.

So don’t shout. Think. Can my products help Chinese firms embrace sustainability? Is there a business opportunity there? Learn, consider and if possible partner up. You’ll make more money and deliver a far more sustainable world than by miring others in criticism.

Content Coms Sin No.3

STANDING STILL

Sustainability is an evolving science. Today’s corporate world is fast moving and disruptive. Once your latest energy-efficient tech is ready for market, don’t stop; look at where the market will be in a decade.

What responses will you offer to future market trends? Do you even know what the trends are? To remain in business, futureproof approaches are now the norm, not an exception.

Content Coms Sin No.4

NOT TRUSTING YOUR INSTINCT

If a new sustainable technology, a new theory, or simply a new business promise sounds too good to be true, be cautious. Sustainability, like all sectors, is open to abuse, over stated claims and over estimated ideas.

Sadly, a high percentage of the wonderful new tech you hear about won’t actually work that well in practice. People are trying to sell it too early, too fast. Be positive but considered concerning new technologies.

Content Coms Sin No. 5

LOSING HEART

When it all seems too tough, when Government green policy U turns frustrate your strategy team, remember why your work is so key.

It is for your children, and their children’s children, to inherit a workable, beautiful and sustainable planet. Your job, day to day, is about creating a world where people can live more equitably, more fairly and less harmfully.

That’s a fantastic remit. When the challenges hurt, stop, and think about why your work and your firm are something to be truly proud of.

Content Coms Sin No.6

FAILING TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE

Today’s, and more importantly tomorrow’s world are governed by sustainability. Despite climate change deniers or the rhetoric of Trump, sustainable business is the only way forward.

That means every firm that wants to stay in business must become truly sustainable. The journey starts now.

This in turn means that the sustainability bar is rising, fast, every day. Sustainability is an ever more competitive market concept.

So, tomorrow it will be insufficient to merely understand, mention or use sustainability in your business. It must instead be inherently sustainable, from top to bottom, from inside to out.

Otherwise, another firm, with longer lasting, more benignly manufactured, better goods and better treated employees will beat you to the next contract.

Content Coms Sin No.7

MISSING THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLICITY

In our quest to deliver sustainable economics, goods, services and companies, we become caught up in challenges of deep complexity, of policy mismatches, technological failures or energy fears.

But, sustainability is actually a very a simple, very inspiring thing. Consider the world around you. Natural systems remain in balance by not overconsuming available resources.

The planet’s weather systems self-regulate, recycling and processing water and energy through oceans, skies, storms and clouds around the entire globe.

Our world has myriad simple lessons for us, often delivered through the simplest of approaches. Sustainability requires little more, fundamentally, than intelligent self-regulation.

Our task is merely to realise this. Sustainability is inherent, achievable and obvious; so let’s make it happen. 

Do you have any thoughts on our Seven Corporate Sins? Let us know; we’d love to hear from you.