Is Your Sustainability Program Suffering because Your Sponsor Left? 

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Michael Jordan
Strategic Consulting


This year I’ve seen an uptick in networking requests from sustainability leaders looking to change companies.

When I ask Why? they tell me they’ve done everything the company is willing to invest in, or, more often, there has been a leadership change above them and suddenly they are not seeing as much support for sustainability as they once were.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average worker stays with his/her employer for 4.6 years. Stands to reason, then, that if you started your company’s sustainability program more than a couple years ago, you or your executive sponsor have probably changed or are about to change jobs.

Nothing wrong with moving onward and upward.  But shouldn’t it be part of every leader’s responsibility to institutionalize their hard work before doing so?

If a single executive sponsor leaving the company has radically changed or depleted the commitment to sustainable business, I’m worried that the sustainability team forgot to do an important part of its job, namely the change management part.  Look around – when was the last time you recruited new champions?

It might be time to refresh your stakeholder analysis and update your sustainability business case.  Engage stakeholder groups, understand their new ideas as well as their resistance to advancing resource efficiency and top line growth from sustainable products.  Then systematically communicate, train, and reward new behaviors that will build on the progress you’ve already made!

If you want to see how other companies have been doing this, email me at

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