Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr Sustainability is back again again!

What an exciting event it is when Dr. Sustainability comes to town! Her last visit was a resounding success, and many sustainability practitioners, academics, consultants and worldwide opinion leaders can now be found quoting Dr. Sustainability's insights in keynotes, books, journal articles and PhD research papers. Dr. Sustainability enjoys having a positive impact and, once again, graced us with her presence and agreed to respond to more questions from CSR-Reporting Blog readers. Here are some of the questions you asked Dr. Sustainability, and her responses:

Dear Dr. Sustainability: How do I know when my company is sustainable?
Dear Clueless: When investment analysts tell you so, of course.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: We did an employee engagement survey this year. It showed that most of our employees are not engaged. What should we do?
Dear Awful Employer: Ask them to lie. It will look better in your Sustainability Report.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: I received feedback that our Sustainability Report was excellent this year. The feedback was from my mother. Is it ethical to post this to Facebook?
Dear Mommy's Boy: Yes, of course. If you don't, your mother will.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: I hear talk that new regulation will raise the bar for all public and private sector companies to develop strategies to advance a low-carbon economy. Should I include our strategy in our Sustainability Report?
Dear Strategist: Only if there is a GRI Indicator for that. Otherwise, wait for G4.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: I read somewhere that Sustainability Reports are full of data that people don't want to read. How do I know which data to include?
Dear Data-Based: Ask your stakeholders what they don't want to know, and leave it out.

Dear Dr. Sustainability:  Sustainability Reporting is driving me nuts. Every time I think I have a final draft, someone else in the company objects and we have to remove another section. The report is now reduced to 14 pages. I started with a draft of 132 pages. What should I do?
Dear Verbose: Next time, start with a draft report of 5 pages, and then everyone will want to add sections. You will soon be back to 132 pages.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: How is it that you know so much about sustainability?
Dear Skeptic: I have Google+.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: Where can I find cheaper paper to print my Sustainability Report?  Everyone keeps telling me that our report isn't worth the paper it is printed on. I think that is because of the high price of FSC Certified 99% post and pre-consumer waste paper. What do you suggest? 
Dear Paper-Waster: I suggest you replace your Procurement Manager and negotiate a discount.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: I have been a Chief Sustainability Officer for some years now, but I am getting disillusioned because, despite the fact that we are acting to solve all the world's problems, the world keeps having problems. Should I resign or add more members to my team?
Dear Problem-Solver: My advice is to think positive. Take the half-filled glass approach.  At least the world is now half-sustainable. 

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices  Contact me via www.twitter.com/elainecohen   on Twitter or via my business website www.b-yond.biz/en  (Beyond Business, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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