Off the Top: Talking Sustainability More Comprehensively

For while now, I’ve been getting my head around a new language for sustainability that can be used throughout all parts of an organization. I’m talking about a language that can tie corporate responsibility to its people at all levels through both personal development and profit-generating means. I think of a language that can influence a way of organizational living whose processes reach deeper than just changing behavior.

In the meantime, a friend posted a Chipotle ad on her Facebook account. Its message “back to the start” strikes me as one of the key messages for the language in my head. There are many choices we make to meet the needs of our complex way of living. Some choices are necessary, while others may be workarounds based on beliefs that may no longer be true. For example, green products do not have to cost more than their contemporaries. The point is to create a language that helps a company and its people keep their actions true to their basic, shared and personal intentions and goals.

The language I seek is out there—I just hear it in bits and pieces throughout different parts of a business. I’d like to see if I can tie it all together in a way that can help a company’s workforce become as sustainable as the products they make.