What does it mean to be a sustanable business? Is it reducing waste? Cutting emissions? Using less water? All of these things?
A business isn't a sustainability leader unless it's influencing others to change. I learned this when the CEO came to me and said, "you're doing great work in the electrical rooms, in the boiler rooms, and behind the walls. But no one knows what you're doing. You need to make it more public, and get employees to change the way they think about the environment--at work AND at home."
He was right.
Changing the behavior of employees. Is that okay for a business to do? Maybe what employees do at home is their own problem. But work and home life overlap now. People bring work home with them, and what they see outside of work can influence their behaviors when they badge in.
I was really struck last week when I heard a comment from Linda Charpentier. She said that after she toured our facilities she went back to Boston Sand and Gravel and implemented a few of the things she'd seen. Employees can do the same at their own homes.
Maybe it's obvious, but you can't be a leader all by yourself.