ECQA Sustainability Manager (LeadSus)
What is sustainability:
Sustainable Development is not country dependent, has to be a concentrated and cumulative direction coming from profit oriented companies/institutions, regardless the types of activities of the company or institution, or even from an non for profit organization; all has to act in a sustainable manner to preserve the environment and to act in a social responsibility way, despite the economical orientation.
In recent years, global issues surrounding energy security, unstable fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sustainable procurement, the purchase of raw materials from sustainable sources, ethical trade and corporate social responsibility (CSR), has led to organizations increasingly making the commitment to move towards a more sustainable, low carbon, energy efficient model. The United Nation's Division for Sustainable Development confirms this in its 2010-2011 report titled "Trends in Sustainable Development - Towards Sustainable Consumption and Production" by registering a steep increase in the number of companies certified to ISO 14001 and 26000 (the environmental management and social responsibility standards) as well as an increase in the number of socially and environmentally concerned consumers, revenue figures from Fairtrade products having grown to € 2.9 billion despite recent economic troubles. The same report reveals that governments are also following the sustainability trend by putting in place sustainable procurement policies, both in developed and in developing countries.
" Strengthening the three dimensions of sustainable development " is one of the key goal of the RIO+20 conference, and one of the means of implementation is capacity building.
"The roles of technology, of technology transfer and of the science-policy interface are also emphasized with a special focus on the "the need to facilitate informed policy decision-making on sustainable development issues". In this regards, capacity building has a major status together with the importance of human resource development that includes "training, the exchange of experiences and expertise, knowledge transfer and technical assistance for capacity-building" 1]
Source : ESDN Quarterly Report N°25
Sustainability is a business growth integrating environmental and social responsibilities into the business objectives, or in some other words - Sustainable operation achieving economic success considering environmental and social responsibilities.
In order that companies to attain performances on both the national and international markets, to be competitive, responsible, and sustainable, they require personnel's who are suitably qualified, meaning "Sustainability Managers" who possess integrated environmental, social and business skills.
What is leadership in sustainability?
"Leadership in sustainability" phrase is quite a new according to Google Trends. According to this analysis, the phrase started to interest people appear around 2011. But the first awards for leadership in sustainability were issued much earlier. For example, "Sustainability leaders award" has been around from 2006 (http://awards.edie.net/). What does the research of the academic literature show?
M. Ferdig in her article discusses the term 'sustainable leader' and his/her personal characteristics.
She argues that the balance between contradictory demands for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable solutions is grounded in a personal ethics that reaches beyond self-interest.
Dr. Wisser et al. in his article explains the model of sustainability leadership in practice. His research is based on the interview of business leaders, which conforms the Cambridge sustainability leadership model. This model includes the following seven key characteristics of sustainability leadership: 1. systemic thinking, 2. emotional intelligence, 3. values orientation, 4. compelling vision, 5. inclusive style, 6. innovative approach and 7. long term perspective. He also offers a definition of sustainability leadership as:"A sustainability leader is someone who inspires and supports action toward a better world" . The bottom-line of his research is that the main task of sustainable leader is survival.
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Please contact the coordinator and project leader
This project (Project number: 2013-1-RO1-LEO05 – 28771) is carried out with the financial support of the Commission of the European Communities under the Lifelong Learning Program.