The Sustainability Professionals Resilience Group (SPRG) is an innovative, international online community, bringing in-house business sustainability leaders together to discuss challenges, explore solutions and share ideas and expertise. Want to become part of it?
Why join the Sustainability Professionals Resilience Group?
By becoming part of our online business sustainability community you’ll have the opportunity to meet with other senior sustainability professionals across the corporate and NFP/NGO sectors – once every month, for an hour per session.
If you sometimes feel like an isolated voice in your organisation, or if you’d value other perspectives on the challenges you face, SPRG is a welcoming community that will offer you:
- A mutually supportive collective of sustainability professionals in similar roles
- The chance to focus on the future and achieve your ambitions
- A platform to engage, connect and collaborate with experts from across the world
- A creative community where you can discuss and share challenges and ideas
- The support needed to increase personal and professional resilience
- The motivation to maintain and increase momentum
How does the professional sustainability group work?
An unparalleled opportunity to meet with business sustainability professionals from a breadth of sectors, locations and organisational roles, SPRG works to broaden perspectives and provide community members with insight from other dedicated experts across the globe.
Combining conceptual thought-leadership with practical and pragmatic solutions and applications, the only agenda is open dialogue and sustainability. Here’s how our business sustainability group works…
The key steps and what you need to get right
Thursday 14th March 2024 | 2-3pm (GMT)
60 minutes + 30 minutes further Q&A
Materiality assessment is central to a complete approach to ESG/sustainability, it demonstrates that you have thoroughly analysed and prioritised the social and environmental issues that represent impacts, risks and opportunities for you and your stakeholders.
Recent developments in ESG/sustainability disclosure have now placed what is called ‘Double Materiality’ at the heart of their approaches – is this different or just a new way of describing a familiar process?
Double Materiality is a requirement of voluntary guidance for sustainability management and reporting (GRI) and also the European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive’s European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS).
But like many things in sustainability, it’s a source of uncertainty or confusion and further questions like just how different is Double Materiality to what many of us may have been doing for years?
What do the regulations require and what are the implications for your business and customers?
In this session we will be exploring these questions and discussing:
- Why a (double) material approach is vital in good practice
- How to avoid the common pitfalls when assessing materiality
- What you really need to get right.
Join Joss and Dominic, Terrafiniti’s founding partners, and other sustainability professionals from diverse sectors, for this interactive meeting. As ever we will share challenges, insights and solutions.
We’re also trying something different in 2024 – we will finish the session as normal at 3pm, but Joss and Dominic will remain online for another half hour if anyone would like to continue the discussion or ask any more questions.
Want to join us at our next business sustainability group meeting?
TBC | 11th April 2024
TBC | 9th April 2024
What have people said about the group?
Who have we heard from?
Executive Director | Your Public Value, Berlin on how Public Value is emerging as a driving force in corporate purpose across Europe and beyond.
Director & Head of Circular Economy | Resource Futures, Bristol on the challenges of developing the Circular Economy and practical examples of the approach in action.
Managing Director | Ivydale Coaching, Singapore on Moral Hazard in the Time of Coronavirus - why mitigating the impact of the pandemic in developing countries should be a priority.
Senior Sustainable Development Manager | Willmott Dixon, UK on Willmott Dixon’s ambitious new sustainability strategy - 'Now or Never' - focusing on driving fundamental business transformation in the context of sustainability challenges.
What have we covered?
We've explored resilience and what that means for sustainability professionals and their businesses, engaging with people in different roles on sustainability and trust in business + much, much more ...
What’s the relevance of ethics to your business, and how do they manifest? | 8th February 2024
Business ethics are a key part of organisational sustainability. They refer to the integration of ethical values and their translation into the behaviour and performance of an organisation and its employees.
Frequently, organisations are criticised because they either fail to live their values or do not share the values of those who criticise them. But there’s a huge challenge in navigating these issues – whose ethics are ‘right’?
In this session, we discussed:
- The gaps between ethics in theory and in practice – most companies have statements of their values, but can they demonstrate how these drive decisions and outcomes in practice?
- Whose ethics are your ethics? – navigating internal and external pressures.
- What are the ethical challenges that your organisation has faced, and how were they dealt with?
- How do you set boundaries for ethical behaviour – and ensure they are followed?
Reputation Management – and Navigating Risk by Association | 18th January 2024
Reputation is widely regarded as one of the most valuable assets of an organisation – and sustainability can be an important contributor to both reputation and other dimensions of business value.
Reputational risk is the possibility of damage to business value if stakeholders think behaviour, actions or performance have fallen short of expectations - damage to reputation can impact revenue, market value or brand.
In this session, we discussed:
- What are the risks – and how are they changing?
- How do you decide who to engage with?
- What you really need to get right.
Taking the temperature – how are you feeling about your sustainability role and challenges? | 14th December 2023
For our final session of 2023, we took a step back and asked – How you are feeling about your role and its challenges ?
Sustainability is moving fast, and professionals have ever more expectations placed on them, frequently within the context of reduced budgets and pressurised timescales.
With new regulations on greenwash, climate and wider sustainability disclosure, growing expectations of clients, an emerging ESG backlash and a lack of certainty about policy consistency, the resilience and enthusiasm of sustainability professionals can sometimes be under pressure.
How to engage and influence non-experts – some NLP insights | 9th November 2023
In November, we welcomed Virginie Coulloudon to take a deeper dive into how we can engage more successfully to drive sustainability in our organisations.
Different people have different perspectives and motivations and tailoring the messages and approaches you take to ensure they can play a successful role in embedding and driving sustainability is vital.
This session explored three NLP meta-programmes to:
- better target your communications
- understand what truly motivates your personal stakeholders and their likely priorities
- help ensure that your messages hit home.
Carbon Literacy | 12th October 2023
Our Associate Emma Burlow gave the low down on Carbon Literacy
Climate change is large, complex and daunting. There is a huge amount of information available and different levels of knowledge – but how do you bridge the ‘knowledge – action’ gap and filter this down to what’s relevant and important to you and your organisation?
Carbon Literacy is unique in balancing a need to educate with the need to move from knowledge to action. It does this by giving employees knowledge in a safe, peer-to-peer learning environment, and then empowers them to act within their business.
In this session, we heard from Emma Burlow about how her team have trained nearly 700 learners in Carbon Literacy, from a wide range of sectors, from sole traders to household brands (including Beko, Silent Night, PZ Cussons & Boston Scientific) and discovered more about:
- the value of wider Carbon Literacy
- how the training works (including using Train-The-Trainer approaches to scale impact), and
- why training is a hugely rewarding and impactful action that should be front and centre of any organisation’s carbon reduction plans.
People in Sustainability - Who do you need to influence in your organisation and what are their drivers & motivations? | 14th September 2023
Sustainability might be a more common topic and a higher priority in organisations nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that everyone gets it.
The complexity and interdependence of sustainability issues means it intersects with all aspects of the company/organisation, including strategy, organisation, operations and technology. Therefore, one of the challenges sustainability professionals face is engaging with people in key roles across the organisation — people whose support will be necessary for developing effective sustainability plans and delivering actions.
Different people have different perspectives and motivations and tailoring the messages and approaches you take to ensure that can play an effective role in embedding and driving sustainability is vital.
So how can you ensure the right people are on board?
This session explored:
- some key roles for sustainability planning and action
- their likely priorities and motivations
- ways to help ensure that your messages hit home.
Sustainable Business Challenges | 8th June 2023
Post-pandemic, sustainability continued to be recognised as a necessity for a successful future, whether in business or wider life.
However, over the last year, we have seen significant economic and social headwinds. The war in Ukraine, pandemic-related disruption, widespread inflation, and the wider social context have raised challenges to the drive for more sustainable behaviour.
So, we thought it was a great time to take stock of how everyone is getting on in the world of sustainable business, explore current challenges and share experiences and solutions in the SPRG group.
Greenwashing deeper dive | 18th May 2023
Things are hotting up on greenwashing. Regulators are taking ever tougher stances on communications - requiring that they reflect the full story for a company/brand’s performance.
In the UK against the background of market investigations (by the CMA) and greenwashing adverts being banned (by the ASA), the government’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill introduced on the 25th April will likely come into force later this year. This greatly expands the powers of CMA (more in line with EU powers) and includes far greater powers and fines for non-compliance (fines can be up to £300,000 or 10% of global turnover – whichever is higher).
Last year in SPRG we explored how to identify greenwashing, why it was damaging and how it could be avoided. In this meeting we took a deeper dive into the green gloop and looked at some real-world examples where claims have been banned.
Carbon Tunnel vision? keeping an eye on ALL that’s important | 20th April 2023
Carbon and Net Zero seem to dominate current sustainability / ESG discourse. But of course, while carbon is vitally important, we also need to ensure that other critical issues are not ignored and that unintended consequences in other areas are avoided or minimised.
Sustainability/ESG can be complex, and that complexity can represent an obstacle to progress. So people try and simplify.
In previous years we’ve seen sustainability simplified to just ‘environment’, then to maybe it’s just the SDGs – are we now seeing the same with carbon?
Global heating and climate change represent a major global threat to lives, livelihoods and prosperity. And now, perhaps perilously late, there are signs of wider public and government acceptance and engagement, even if action still lacks the urgency required. The March 20th IPCC report is clear and stark with its message.
Focus on carbon management and reduction is now widespread, featuring in legislation and organisational policies. If you want to sell to the public sector or large businesses, you now need a coherent position on carbon and associated targets – at least at the planning and early commitment stages.
However, we must not lose sight of ALL the issues important for your company. Carbon may not be material to your company – other than as an expectation. Other risks and dependencies might be as or more important to your ability to operate and thrive as a company.
In this meeting we explored ‘Carbon Tunnel Vision’ and asked:
- Does a focus on carbon-related activity and requirements dominate your approach or efforts?
- Is carbon a significant impact from your company?
- What else is important?
Sustainable transition - waiting for the underpants gnomes - are your plans plausible? | 9th March 2023
Climate, nature, water, food, energy, toxics and other challenges are driving the need for sustainable transition.
Increased awareness and urgency mean that companies are talking more than ever before about their sustainability ambitions – whether prompted by investors, regulators, customers or the desire to be seen to be doing good.
Net Zero ambitions are the most common – but plans for a whole range of changes needed for sustainability can be found. Many require complex and/or dramatic changes in the way we produce, manufacture and move goods.
In this session we asked:
- How plausible or credible are plans?
- To what extent is it realistic to rely on things that are unproven or yet to be built/scaled-up? (underpants gnomes)
- Given uncertainties, what are the elements of best practice?
What are the obstacles to sustainability in your business? | 9th February 2023
Being an effective sustainability professional is rarely straightforward. It can often feel like a daunting task, just when you’ve fixed one thing another obstacle pops up.
Typical obstacles can include finding answers to technical issues, but more often relate to people and/or organisational issues. Behavioural, mindset or ‘political’ challenges are more complex and less likely to be fixed quickly or neatly.
In this meeting we:
- Discovered some of the key obstacles we’ve seen sustainability professionals face in turning their plans into practice,
- Shared how and why different obstacles arise, and;
- Explored solutions and tactics for achieving successful sustainability results.
Sustainable business challenges | 12th January 2023
What really needs our attention in 2023?
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen dramatic changes that both drive and challenge companies’ sustainability – and yet further headwinds are emerging.
In this session, we looked at what might be the most significant trends and challenges for the New Year, including:
- Global risks
- Inflationary pressures, cost of living and the implications for sustainability
- Energy pricing and security
- Geopolitical pressures and how this might affect supply chains
- Regulatory trends and what’s emerging
- Climate and nature – the need for greater disclosure and action