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The SB Brand Transformation Roadmap: How to Take Your Sustainability Journey to the Next Level

by Shannon Houde

This Monday morning workshop kicked off with Kevin Hagen, VP of ESG Strategy at Iron Mountain, asking the packed room, “So, why haven’t all companies been able to become sustainable? We’ve been doing this a long time —why aren’t we there yet?

There is a notion that many companies experience a plateau in their sustainability journey and the data backs it up. Hagen and SB’s Director of Knowledge & Insights, Dimitar Vlahov, sit on the SB Working Group — with 10 colleagues and an advisory board of 50 — that has created a new orientation and navigation tool, the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap, to help business leaders become inspired, informed and equipped to succeed and stand out. The Roadmap:

  • Works for beginners and advanced practitioners
  • Is user-friendly and comprehensive
  • Enables internal and external engagement

So, after surveying the thinking in the field, the Council designed the Roadmap with 5 characteristics of a sustainable brand, and at the 5 levels of the journey to become a Sustainable Brand:

Hagen and Vlahov asked: “How many sustainable brands are in the US? The world? The answer: (Almost) None.”

All businesses start at Level 1. When a company reaches a plateau on its journey, it is a sign that it is time to jump to the next step. We are all trying to move the bell curve of the organization up on these 5×5. Each phase has clear and consistent behaviors that mark where you are on the journey.

Companies can self-assess where they are in each box to ask:

  • Where am I today?
  • What can I be doing differently?
  • What can I do to help my company make the jump to the next phase?

The tool has a one-pager on each of the 5 Characteristics and what it looks like to move from Level 1 to Level 5 for each.

A visual report is then mapped to show consolidated results to help companies see more clearly their areas for improvement.

The destination for all of our companies is to become sustainable — no one is there yet, but we are all heading in the right direction.

SB’19 Detroit attendees have FREE ACCESS to the SB Brand Transformation Roadmap until June 14 — use the Self-Assessment Tool to uncover and define where your company is on the journey. The Council welcomes feedback! Contact roadmap@sustainablebrands.com for the link.

 

This article was originally published on the Sustainable Brands website and can be found here.

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