Tuesday October 21 , 2014
Friday, 28 October 2011 12:02

Passion for Sustainability


What matters most when leading sustainability in an organisation?

Is it someone’s charisma, their position or authority, their political awareness, their knowledge of climate change or the technical solutions and innovations in their marketplace?

Our research* into Sustainability intelligence has found that someone’s Passion for Sustainability is the most significant factor in their ability to make a difference to the sustainability of an organisation.

Their personal commitment to the agenda, and their passion for it, is clear to everyone around them.  How do people know?  What specific behaviours do those most effective have?  

The research suggests that those most successful in leading change “Acknowledge the consequences of actions on the wider environment”, and they, “Champion the Sustainability message”.  They talk about the subject – a lot.  We found that someone’s Passion for Sustainability was most strongly correlated with how often they communicate about the subject. 

It was taken for granted these people do a great job.  When we researched the leaders in the field, our interviewees said that this was the baseline, the pre-requisite for being able to influence others, “If you are not doing a great job, who is going to listen to you when you say we need to change the organisational strategy?”

Technical aspects of the job were only very rarely talked about.  This is perhaps a reflection of the assumption that you take care of this aspect before you can be a ‘leader’.  Perhaps this is a reflection of the many ways in which people come to the sustainability agenda, whether from a finance, environmental or marketing background.  

So, where does the passion come from?  

Passion for sustainability comes from an internal place, and is fundamentally linked to individual values.  Great sustainability leaders may be great leaders in a generic sense, and they have something more.        

Those with the greatest passion or commitment to sustainability have a deep understanding of ‘why sustainability’, whether from a social, economic or environmental perspective.  

This fits with our thoughts on behaviour change.  People naturally take actions towards a particular goal or in line with a particular agenda if they understand why. 

Perhaps the ultimate goal of Sustainability Leaders is to inspire the passion and commitment in others.  As Antoine de Saint-Exupery understood, it is the desire for something that transforms behaviour and action.  

"If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

 Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–1944)



* Our formal research in this area began in August 2009 and included: a desk study of leading research on Leadership in Sustainability; repertory grid style interviews with sustainability leaders; unstructured dialogues; the Association of Sustainability Practitioners workshop discussing sustainability skills and talents; the construction of the first Sustainability Intelligence competency framework; a Leadership in Sustainability workshop with 45 attendees to hone the model;  development of a 360 degree assessment tool; trialling the 360 tool and Sustainability Intelligence model  (500 people from business, public, NGO organisations) with control questions and feedback mechanisms; detailed statistical analysis of the data; development of a second version of the model based on the data and statistics; further use and testing; development of a structured approach to 360 degree feedback coaching; client usage; further refinement of the model (and a translation into the Czech language!)…. we are now on Version 3.

Published in Leadership
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 08:04

PassivHaus: the new normal

PassivHaus first for Bristol and the West of England

Colin Powell, director at gcp Consulting has become the first fully certified PassivHaus designer in Bristol and the West of England region who is also qualified as an architect.

PassivHaus is a design tool developed in Germany to help building designers create extreme low energy buildings of all types, not just houses. See http://passipedia.passiv.de/passipedia_en/basics/what_is_a_passive_house

Colin Powell said ‘adding PassivHaus to the suite of sustainable design services provided by gcp allows us to offer clients low energy design solutions for all building types under one roof’.See http://www.gcparch.co.uk/

Even existing buildings can benefit from substantially reduced energy bills. EnerPHit is the refurbishment modelling tool that has shown energy savings of between 75% and 90% can be achieved. See http://passipedia.passiv.de/passipedia_en/certification/enerphit

If you would like to discuss PassivHaus and its potential to deliver extreme low energy buildings over a cup of coffee call Colin or his co-director Jonathan Platt on 0117 932888 or they can be contacted at gcp Consulting. 18-19 Londonderry Farm, Keynsham Road, Willsbridge, Bristol BS30 6EL. Email colin.powell@gcparch.co.uk. Web http://www.gcparch.co.uk/

Published in Energy / Carbon

Is sustainability developing as its own career path? Is interest and the dialogue on corporate social responsibility (CSR) simply hype or here to stay as an essential job duty?

Vault.com and the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) invite you to take our short survey on career trends for professionals working in CSR or sustainability roles. Irrespective of your industry or position of influence, we appreciate your participation in helping us determine the future of careers in sustainability.

To participate in the survey, please visit http://vault.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6orhh5a6CECwRcU.

The results will culminate in a white paper jointly written by Vault and CSE on the current and future career trends in sustainability. Our hope is to help make the transition to a responsible career easier and collaborative for millions of aspiring students and professionals.

We thank you for your time and look forward to your insights.

Regards,

Aman Singh
Senior Editor, Corporate Responsibility
Vault.com

Published in Leadership
Thursday, 19 May 2011 13:37

BASELondon

The acclaimed BASELondon returns on the 22 June 2011 and this year will take place in the impressive grounds of the HAC in the City of London.

With a clear focus on the commercial opportunity, BASELondon unites City Hall and local government with the private sector companies vying to be part of London’s low carbon urban transformation.

With a potent mix of high quality content, exhibition space and networking activities, BASELondon will bring together organisations seeking to capitalise on the renewal of London’s infrastructure.

Influential speakers, led by London Mayor Boris Johnson, will address the relationship between a sustainable London and its continuing economic success and spell out the opportunities from the many initiatives and programmes already in play. Specifically it will focus on decentralised energy infrastructure, smart power networks, refurbishing commercial and domestic buildings, diverting waste from landfill, renewing London’s transport infrastructure and greening London’s public spaces. And, perhaps more importantly, our speakers will explain how your company can capitalise on these opportunities.

For more information visit www.baselondonshow.co.uk or contact andrew.dowding@basecommunications.co.uk

Published in Sustainable Enterprise
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 10:09

Learning the future now

children

Learning the future now

- What is the best way to equip young people to build a sustainable world?

As the government cuts its funding for the sustainability agenda in schools while maintaining its commitment to 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, a debate is growing about whether education in schools is really preparing young people for a low-carbon world.

What skills and knowledge will this rising generation need by 2030 to cope with the impact of climate change, contested resources and energy constraints?

What is the opportunity here to explore new ways of learning in a time of profound change?

Without the dynamism and commitment of young people our future will be in peril, how do we give them the confidence and experience that demonstrates they can make a difference?

ASP and Quince (a group of cutting-edge educators in this field) invite you to join with a group of educational practitioners and change agents to crystallise a radical agenda on education for the future that can be messaged out into the mainstream.

We are inviting

  • Young people
  • Head teachers and teachers
  • Those who teach teachers
  • Parents
  • Educators both within and without schools, universities and colleges
  • Visionaries, futurists
  • Sustainability practitioners
  • NGOs
  • Change Agents

to address the fundamental question:

What are the skills and knowledge we should be supporting young people to learn now that will be needed in the radically different world of 20 years hence?”

We will meet at the Folly Farm* on Friday 25th March 2011, 10:00 – 17:00, with an option of arriving on the Thursday evening and staying the night.

The format of the day will facilitate first steps in a process to envisage our world in 2030 and to design a learning set of skills for children and young adults who will be the change-agents of tomorrow.  It will encompass holistic thinking, connect to nature, making systems visible and understanding the dynamics of change. An important outcome will be to connect and support the pioneers in this field.

On the way we will explore questions such as:

  • What will the world be like in 2030?
  • How can we take new ways of learning, and approaches to sustainability, into the mainstream?
  • Can we open up a conversation around action based on values?
  • What support do the pioneers in this field need?

 

To reserve your place please register on-line now…

Learning the future now

- exploring the routes towards a new form of education

Friday 25th March 2011, 10:00 – 17:00

Select the appropriate fee from the dropdown menu and click on the Register button.  Costs include lunch and refreshments.

  • Students: £50
  • Quince Members, ASP Associates: £100
  • NGO’s, Public Sector, Individuals: £165
  • Corporates: £195

Includes lunch and refreshments.

 

An option…

follyfarmOn the evening of the 24th we are organising a community meal and overnight stay at Folly Farm for participants. This will give us a chance to cook, eat and socialise and together.  You could also bring an instrument or two if you want, and maybe some firewood…  The accommodation at the farm is excellent with newly refurbished twin rooms. The cost will be £35 per person accommodation, and we will all bring some food for the evening meal and breakfast. Details will be sent to all participants upon registration.

*Folly Farm is an environmental learning and conference facility set in a stunning 250-acre nature reserve in south west England.  The Folly Farm Centre is at the heart of Folly Farm, a stunning 250-acre nature reserve close to Bath and Bristol which is owned and managed by Avon Wildlife Trust. It is a very special place - a place to learn and explore, a place for inspiration, a place to lie in the grass and discover a new world.  FOLLY FARM

As a graduate of this inpiring course I thought this would be of interest to ASP members. Applications have just opened, the programmes are taught in English and there are no tuition fees for UE & EEA citizens (yes you read that correctly!)

Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Sweden, is a top ranked sustainability research and education institution currently recruiting early – mid career professionals for their cutting-edge Masters courses.

The Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) and the Masters in Sustainable Product Service System Innovation (MSPI) are underpinned by the science-based Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (widely known as The Natural Step Framework) spearheaded by Karl-Henrik Robèrt, a global sustainability leader and course tutor.

The Swedish state kindly pays for tuition fees for these Master’s programmes for EU and EEA citizens and courses are taught in English. BTH is located in the beautiful coastal city of Karlskrona, a UNESCO world heritage site on the southeast coast of Sweden.

MSLS explores the baseline science of systematic sustainability coupled with the skills required for organizational change. The course produces graduates who can deliver organizational leadership for strategic change towards sustainability. MSPI enables students to design and innovate for positive socio-ecological impacts of products, services, and product-service systems throughout their life cycles. This course produces graduates who can deliver outcomes that meet user needs while generating competitive advantages in the expanding sustainability-driven market.

Applications open on the 1st of December 2010 and close 17th January 2011.  For more information please visit www.bth.se/sustainability

Simon Goldsmith, MSLS 2008.

Published in Education

Lesley Seymour's (Buro Happold) presentation at the ASP Learning Event in Bath on 29th September 2010:

"Making "uncertainty" the opportunity:  sustainability consulting tools"

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The full presenation (PDF) can be downloaded via the "Download attachments" below...

Published in Discovery

This presentation was made by Howard Pearce, Envirnomnent Agency, at the ASP Learning Event "Sustainability Practitioners - the drivers of innovation for the future?", on September 29th at Buro Happold, Bath.

*“Taking account of financially material environmental risks and opportunities, that can affect current and future financial returns, is entirely consistent with acting in the best long term financial interests of pension fund beneficiaries”

*“Knowingly ignoring and not taking account of financially material environmental risks and opportunities is a potential breach of a fiduciary’s duties”

He summarises his work as manager of Environment Agency's Pension Fund, his responsible investment strategy and asks:

How can we get inside the head of the finance sector?
How can we get inside the head of the government?

To view it download the attachments below...
Published in Discovery
Thursday, 30 September 2010 15:18

Cripsin Burridge, M&S, Plan A Presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This presentation was made by Crispin Burridge at the ASP Learning Event "Sustainability Practitioners - the drivers of innovation for the future?", on September 29th at Buro Happold, Bath.

He summarise M&S' Plan A and recent results then asks two questions for sustainability practitioners...

To view it download the attachment...

Published in Discovery

The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into 'Embedding sustainable development across Government'.
 
In light of the Government's decision to withdraw funding from the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), this inquiry will look at how sustainable development can be further embedded in Government policy decision-making and operations. As part of its inquiry, the Committee will examine the latest sustainable development performance data across government departments.
 
The Committee wishes to focus on the following themes:
 
  • How can mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of Government operations, procurement and policy-making be improved and further embedded and mainstreamed across Government departments?
  • How can governance arrangements for sustainable development in Government be improved, and how can sustainability reporting by Government departments be made more transparent and accountable?
  • Was the SDC successful in fulfilling its remit? Which aspects of its work have reached a natural end, or are otherwise of less importance, and which remain of particular continuing importance?
  • In formulating a future architecture for sustainable development in Government, how can it take on board wider developments and initiatives (eg to develop ‘sustainability reporting’ in departments’ accounts) and the contributions that other bodies might make (eg Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement)?
  • How, without the assistance of the SDC, will the Government be able to demonstrate that it is ‘the greenest government ever’?
The deadline for this inquiry is Wednesday 13 October 2010.
 
New inquiry: Embedding sustainable development across Government

The Environmental Audit Committee, chaired by Joan Walley MP, is today launching a new inquiry on how sustainable development can be further embedded in Government policy decision-making and operations, in the light of the Government’s decision to withdraw funding for the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC). As part of its inquiry, the Committee will examine latest sustainable development performance data across government departments.

The Committee is interested in receiving written evidence that looks at the following themes of the inquiry:

  • How can mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of Government operations, procurement and policy-making be improved and further embedded and mainstreamed across Government departments?
  • How can governance arrangements for sustainable development in Government be improved, and how can sustainability reporting by Government departments be made more transparent and accountable?
  • Was the SDC successful in fulfilling its remit? Which aspects of its work have reached a natural end, or are otherwise of less importance, and which remain of particular continuing importance?
  • In formulating a future architecture for sustainable development in Government, how can it take on board wider developments and initiatives (eg to develop ‘sustainability reporting’ in departments’ accounts) and the contributions that other bodies might make (eg Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement)?
  • How, without the assistance of the SDC, will the Government be able to demonstrate that it is ‘the greenest government ever’?

The Committee invites organisations and members of the public to submit written evidence, setting out their views on these issues. More wide ranging responses are also welcome. Submissions should ideally be sent to the Committee by Wednesday 13 October 2010, although later submissions may be accepted. Guidance on preparing submissions is set out below.

Background:

The context for the inquiry is the Secretary of State’s announcement on 22 July on the future of the Sustainable Development Commission, when she announced that the Government would withdraw funding for the SDC from April 2011. The SDC is the Government's independent adviser on sustainable development and also acts as an independent watchdog, scrutinising the Government’s sustainable development performance. Its work encompasses four main areas:

  • Promoting awareness of the concept of sustainable development;
  • Establishing good working practices within Government;
  • Advising key Ministers and others across Government;
  • Monitoring performance against sustainable development targets and reporting on these.

The Secretary of State told the House of Commons on 22 July that “We will mainstream sustainability, strengthen the Government's performance in this area and put processes in place to join up activity across Government much more effectively. I am not willing simply to delegate this responsibility to an external body. I have accordingly decided that I will withdraw DEFRA funding from the Sustainable Development Commission at the end of the current financial year, and instead take a personal lead, with an enhanced departmental capability and presence”.

For written submissions to the Committee, please note:

Each submission should ideally:

  • Be no more than 3,000 words in length;
  • Begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  • Have numbered paragraphs; and
  • Be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

Published in Environment
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