• Nuno Moreira da Cruz

Sustainability Tips for Companies in 2019



1. Anticipate the next unacceptable social issue

Corporations will feel the need to include in their investment decision process, the answer to the question: “what we are deciding today is acceptable from the environment and social angle. But will it be in the future?” Anticipating the next unacceptable issue and deal with it, may become a source of competitive advantage. Or, at the very minimum, a way to mitigate risk and value destruction.

2. Accept employability as your social responsibility

Jobs for life is a feature of a distant past. Companies have no obligation to ensure that. But there is something I truly believe: it is social responsibility of the Companies to ensure employability of its employees. In other words, socially responsible companies should ensure that, whenever an employee must leave (for whatever reason), they should leave as better professionals and human beings than they were when they joined.

3. Understand that globalisation is changing the role of Corporations

A very interesting new dimension of Corporate role in this "new sustainable world" is emerging: in places where Governments do not do their "job" (regulate, control and sanction key sustainable issues) who can their citizens rely on? The answer is obvious: on big Corporations operating worldwide, who cannot ignore these challenges anymore. In other words: those Corporations choosing to address these issues in less developed countries in a more “sustainable way”, they are very likely to attract customers in more developed markets.

4. “Soft is the new Hard” should be part of the “way we do things around here”

Values, vision, leading from the heart, sense of purpose: practices that will become, more than ever, key sustainable leadership skills. With most of the professional activities being replaced by machines, those are the practices that will remain for leaders to build and excel. And above all, be very clear that those we lead are, first, human beings. Nobody gets into a head office leaving at the door the skin of parent, son/daughter, wife/husband, golfer, dog lover… It is the whole human being that gets in, and it is that whole human being that one leads.

5. Have your internal debate: “Will Companies and CEOs be able NOT to speak up?”

Globalisation and Technology are channelling all key environmental and social issues into the global public arena. Human rights, child labour, water scarcity, air quality, poverty, you name it, critical issues that we, citizens and consumers, are not willing anymore to let go. It will be increasingly difficult for Companies and CEOs to try and stay neutral. They will be “forced” to speak up and take a stance…or will see consumers brand loyalty to vanish.