What role should CEOs play in weaving sustainability into business practice and communication–and how can communication professionals support them? CW asked Peter Roche of London Perret Roche Group to shed some light on this complex topic. Roche is a founding partner of The London Perret Roche Group (LPR) LLC, an international management consulting and executive coaching firm headquartered in New Jersey. Coaching leaders on designing strategies, structures and cultures to intentionally unleash the creativity, passion and intelligence of the people the enterprises is the focus of his work.
Jessica Burnette-Lemon: In your opinion, what should the CEO’s role be in addressing corporate sustainability and social responsibility issues?
Peter Roche: Starting from the premise that the CEO recognizes that sustainability and social responsibility are essential and legitimate areas of focus for the enterprise, the CEO’s role is multifaceted:
- Tell the story of what the company is doing at every opportunity, to every audience, about the importance of sustainability for the long term viability of the enterprise and, say why being responsible social citizens is a non-negotiable operating principle.
- Pepper the story with specifics—the tangible, observable benefits that accrue to each stakeholder group; how differentiation and competitive advantage is strengthened by having sustainability and social responsibility be the context for much of what the organization is committed to.
- Have sustainability and social responsibility metrics be included in every person’s role, as important elements of their performance.
- Acknowledge, celebrate and publicize accomplishments in these areas in targeted PR releases and social media messaging to every stakeholder group.
JBL: What are the benefits, from a leader’s perspective, of incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into a company’s operations and communications?...
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