Defining Sustainability: How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

There are many different definitions of sustainability in the marketplace. From organizations to academia, everyone is building a definition on this topic. These definitions range from the intersection of environmental, social and economic responsibility to developing the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. If you ask any number of people, you are bound to get any number of responses.

At West Monroe, we are no different. We recently hit a new milestone of hiring our 500th employee. That is no small feat for a company that started with five employees 12 years ago.  As we continue to build out our Sustainability Practice, we recognize that all 500 employees might not have the same definition or understanding of sustainability.  But in order for us to go-to market with a unified message, we want to make sure our employees all understand our company’s sustainability goals. Additionally, it is important to educate employees on the sustainability goals, because as Kate Fisher mentioned in her recent blog post, individuals, corporations and government all play a role in embedding sustainability in a company’s culture.

There are two key ways to help our Sustainability Practice expand beyond our own inner-group to all WMP employees. The first way is through our Sustainability Ambassador Program. The Sustainability Ambassador Program is made up of the core Sustainability Practice as well as representatives from the solution lines and industry verticals within the company. What better way for the Sustainability Practice to understand the core competencies of our Insurance Practice, for example, than directly from a member of our Insurance team.  Additionally, the members of the industry verticals and solutions lines are often at their client sites every day and understand the pain points and opportunities where sustainability can help mitigate associated risks. Through the Ambassador Program, we can break down cross-functional barriers and work as a unified group that not only brings sustainability knowledge and capabilities, but also subject matter expertise in the specific industry. Talk about a win-win situation.

The second piece is through a company-wide survey. The Sustainability team is currently preparing a survey for the entire company to help us get a pulse on what the understanding of sustainability is, what is means to West Monroe, and how we can better take sustainability to market. By collecting the responses of the survey, we will have a better understanding of the employees’ perceptions of sustainability and how they view the needs in the marketplace. Based on the employee responses, the Sustainability Practice plans to tailor messaging and educational sessions to help West Monroe employees further understand sustainability concepts and potential impacts to their industries and then tailor our messaging.  Additionally, many of the misconceptions or misunderstandings could be similar to how the community, marketplace or our clients currently understand sustainability. We can use these tools to better message our capabilities and ensure that those outside our company see our true sustainability goals.

By educating our employees and defining a unified message, West Monroe can build a stronger brand and use the support of the entire company to help achieve our goals and further build our Sustainability Practice. Stay tuned for the survey results in a future blog post!

Phone: 312-602-4000
222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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