In Sustainable Business, Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit Is No Longer Enough

Broad sustainability expertise is beneficial for experts in all fields, shares Kati Kiviniemi.

Kati Kiviniemi, 10.09.2021

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Today, all leadership and expert positions require extensive and in-depth competencies, and sometimes it can be difficult to decide which area of expertise you should focus on.

Sustainability should be high on your list of priorities, as it is no longer viewed as a mere competitive advantage but as something that companies are expected to acknowledge and take care of. Picking the low-hanging fruit is a good step to take but not enough in itself. To find the golden nuggets of sustainability, we must reach higher.

Sustainability should be deeply embedded in the organization’s purpose and value creation."

The importance of sustainability is constantly emphasized, and in a successful and responsible organization, it should be deeply embedded in the organization’s purpose and value creation. Sustainability sparks discussion and opinions. It is a multifaceted and systemic concept. This is why broad sustainability expertise is beneficial for experts and leaders in all fields.

Companies are getting better and better at realizing the importance of sustainability. According to a survey of large corporations by OP Financial Group and the Nordic Institute of Business & Society.

Finland-based companies are committed to sustainability.

The journey is just as important as the destination

Sustainability should be planned, translated into targets, measured and monitored. Just like in the development of strategy and corporate culture, the journey is as important as the destination in the development of sustainable business as well. Things do not have to be ready and perfect until they are communicated to the outside world.

Transparency, good communication and dialogue with stakeholders are crucial factors as companies are increasingly participating in various ecosystems and networks. To illustrate, the way your suppliers and subcontractors operate affects how well your company can reach its sustainability targets. The sustainability journey will be easier when you make progress and reach for the golden nuggets together.

Broad palette of skills

What elements are included in the palette of sustainability skills?

You should at least learn about strategy, supply chains, reporting, finance, environmental accounting, digital sustainability, social responsibility, ethics, communication and marketing. You do not have to master everything perfectly, but well enough to understand the meaning of the whole and its parts.

The learning opportunities are endless, which makes sustainability an interesting and rewarding subject.  

Kati Kiviniemi is Communications Manager at the Geological Survey of Finland. She completed the Aalto PRO program Vastuullisuus ja liiketoiminta (Business and Sustainability) in 2020.

The Vastuullisuus ja liiketoiminta program develops the participant's broad understanding of the business and related aspects of responsibility. The different modules of the program introduce participants to the essential concepts, models, and practices of responsible business that help them perceive the whole of responsible business. Read more in Finnish

Currently reading: Aalto Leaders' Insight: In Sustainable Business, Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit Is No Longer Enough

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