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Bringing Stakeholders to Sustainability – Seattle
Aug 26 2010, 5:19 PM EDTAt the Seattle event, we paired this topic with Social Investing. It allowed for a different discussion focused on financial impacts and how it is affected by stakeholder engagement. Agreeing to who stakeholders were was fairly easy: decision makers, ownership, employees, environmental advocates, investors, suppliers, communities where business operate, legislators, municipalities.
1. Creating a sufficient sense of crisis for stakeholder action.
a. Barrier -Education and awareness lacking
b. Reality- People may not care enough. Why are citizens not more demanding.
c. How far should businesses go for the environment?
d. Should government follow business of vice versa?
e. Businesses are reactive to consumer demands.
f. Is REI doing good for competitive advantage or social good?
g. Businesses need to decide if they want to take on hefty risk of being pioneers.
2. Prioritizing most meaningful method to engage with stakeholder
a. What is best fit for a company: 1) Meaningful input; 2) Right issues – priority?
b. Lots of momentum from status quo.
c. Feminist view-
i. Breaking boundaries
ii. Diversity – Board –sustaining value to investors.
iii. Capitalize on strengths – relationships valued (facilitation skills and management not just technical).
3. Current investment options may not be best models for balancing individual freedom and public good.
a. Employees need to take more interest. Many don’t know how to take responsibility of their investments.
b. Profit motive very strong
c. Process to get involved in discussions not available.
d. Social ROI – need to be in core value of company.
e. SROI - Culturally not popular.
f. There are no absolutes- balance of impact is important (e.g. CFL with some mercury). No metrics solves all.
g. Investing locally- within the community (e.g. Ben and Jerry IPO only for NH residents first).
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1. RE: Bringing Stakeholders to Sustainability – Seattle -Part 2
Aug 26 2010, 5:21 PM EDTDuring the Solutions Salon, we looked for opportunities:
1. Outreach and education. The value of SROI
a. What is the Return on Investment? More than Profit- Brand, Market share, Experience
b. Recognize upfront value – doing good reduces risks. Encourage long-term views.
c. Use of technology –
i. Survey electronically to get feedback loop from customers to suppliers (e.g. Amazon Green)
ii. Goodguide, iPhone Apps (e.g. for barcode scanning of product “goodness”)
d. Social Media
2. Checks & Balances – Equal Stake (voice) in company for decisions –
a. Board members / Management
c. Supply Chain
3. Collaboration for solutions-
a. Public entities (government),
d. Environmental advocates
4. Co-op model for investments– is it always for the better good?
a. Challenge of Co-ops- Scalability, Difficult to raise capital, profit motive
b. Membership (mission) driven- depend on sales, lack metrics
c. Must be paired with marketing strategy
5. Stakeholder Engagement Process
a. Process _ See attached
b. Barriers –
iii. No existing or good process in place
iv. No fundamental knowledge or metrics
v. Competing Commitments (capital for new profit centers or investment in environmental payback)
vi. Tenure of employees (“always done it this way”)
c. Actionable Steps
i. Identify Champion / Green Team
ii. Develop metrics
1. Understand competitors
iii. Internal Support
iv. Identify Stakeholders (see attached chart)
v. Find Financial Advantage
vi. Design Service, Process (retro-commissioning), Product according to financial model
vii. Fail (to learn), Test , Prototype
viii. Do again
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