Accelerating Progress Towards Achieving Sustainability Goals
A global agricultural sciences company engaged Brimstone to partner with its Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) to build a strategic roadmap that would enable the company to achieve its sustainability goals.
The CSO was appointed to the role after the company identified the need to accelerate progress toward its sustainability goals. The CSO was charged with building an enterprise-wide Sustainability Roadmap to prioritize activities for the organization over the mid-term, accelerate progress, and to ensure the company’s sustainability goals were met. The CSO recognized that the process of developing the roadmap was an opportunity to strengthen the Sustainability Team’s connection with the broader organization, the Team’s cohesiveness, and to build shared accountability for success of the company’s sustainability strategy.
The CSO partnered with Brimstone to deliver a sustainability roadmap and alignment process to achieve these outcomes.
The inputs that were identified as critical in shaping the roadmap included perspective and feedback from key stakeholders, the Sustainability Team’s perspectives on external and internal business realities, and the company’s:
- Long-range business plan
- Materiality assessment
- Past sustainability reports
- Current thinking about its sustainability narrative
- Culture framework
- Sustainability work already in-flight
Brimstone facilitated an iterative process – incorporating these inputs — to build the company’s Global Sustainability Roadmap. Led by the CSO, the process involved a broad range of stakeholders including the Sustainability Leadership Team, the broader Sustainability Team, and the executive leadership team. The process resulted in the alignment of these various constituencies to a roadmap that included:
- The realities and case for change driving the roadmap
- The purpose of the company’s sustainability effort
- The target impact areas (a subset of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals) for the company
- Strategic imperatives to produce the desired outcomes
- Measures of success for each strategic imperative
- Actions to be taken over 18 months that would drive the execution of the strategic imperatives
Once the executive leadership team adopted the roadmap, it was cascaded through the organization by senior leaders and their partners on the Sustainability Team. The Sustainability Team then engaged with individuals from across the organization to drive the execution of the prioritized 18-month actions. This work was executed by cross-functional teams from across the global organization. The Sustainability Team also worked with individual leaders from across the organization to deliver on some of the actions, as well as executing some of the actions themselves.
The organization continues to use the roadmap to foster:
- Alignment: Aligns leaders (and ultimately the entire organization) on sustainability priorities for the next 12 months and beyond
- Accountability: Drives shared accountability at the leadership level for critical initiatives – and provides a means of tracking progress against those initiatives
- Prioritization: Forces difficult decisions about what’s most important to accomplish – and what can be delayed, shelved, or decommissioned
- Communication: Enables leadership to share the organization’s priorities with the organization – and engage in dialogue about those priorities
This collective set of activities has built enterprise-wide engagement in the effort, and forward momentum is helping the organization continue to drive progress toward its sustainability goals.