For many, having the opportunity to land a dream job in sustainability may seem like a challenging task that will require a herculean effort! Developing a prepared game plan for landing that job, along with specific milestones along the way, will help improve your chances and assist in differentiating you from other candidates. One of the first milestones is being able to obtain an in-depth interview with a respected company or organization in the field of sustainability. The second milestone is having a successful interview, and being asked back!
With all of the recent changes on the national political scene, many business and organization leaders have raised the question of where sustainability is headed in the future. There are expressed concerns about the continuing support for ongoing programs and initiatives, especially those around environmental sustainability. Some of those issue areas include protection of our natural environment and the watersheds here in West Michigan, as well as the ongoing work in climate impact, preparedness, and resiliency. To begin, there are no quick and easy answers! However, I do believe that a positive picture can be painted based on the approaches being taken here in West Michigan.
Over the recent past many companies, institutions, and organizations alike across the private, public, and academic sectors have been on a sustainability journey. This journey has taken everyone through the stages of creating awareness, developing understanding, applying best practices, tracking progress, determining value creation, and providing leadership and vision regarding sustainability initiatives, programs, and activities. One of the in-depth aspects of sustainability deals with the “triple bottom line” parameters and criteria for generating positive environmental, social, and economic impact.
Since sustainability is a journey and not a destination point, the challenge is to obtain the required financial and support resources necessary to build momentum and achieve progress. Key performance metrics (KPIs) are critically important to monitor and track baseline and annual progress. However, requesting required support resources through traditional budget cycles is a difficult task and may fall short of expectations and aspirations. On the other hand, many successful sustainability initiatives are created, developed, and implemented by a “self-raising of the bar” and are not necessarily just focused on compliance and regulations. Continue reading