Published 1 month ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Tom Fisk
While achieving these goals may not be easy, these practices help break down
lofty goals and create coordinated, meaningful change.
Sustainability goals are crucial for any business; but knowing how to advance
them can be intimidating.
To help reach sustainability goals, companies need to undertake both global and
local initiatives that promote greater environmental responsibility. You cannot
progress your sustainability vision without prioritizing global goals and
initiatives to chart the course for your company’s big-picture impact, and local
to allow for targeted, multigenerational impact.
Identify global priorities; then, step back and find local projects that ladder
up to this vision.
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For instance, reforestation programs are a focus of
Lexmark locations worldwide, so we make it
a priority to take actions to support the biodiversity in the communities where
we live and work.
For example, our Lexmark Research and Development Corporation (LRDC) is
in Cebu, Philippines — which is recognized as an area of high biodiversity.
Sensitive to this, our employees work diligently to restore habitats near these
facilities — focusing on reforestation and watershed protection. Since 2008,
we’ve planted over 163,000 mangrove trees in various coastal and watershed areas
of Cebu and over 19,000 tree seedlings in various areas of Cebu. We’re
appreciative that much of this work is done in partnership with the Community
Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) for tree- and
mangrove-planting activities – a partnership based on a shared vision that helps
maintain balance in the natural world.
Longevity of a program demonstrates the depth of an organization’s commitment.
Further, multigenerational programs have a greater influence on company
reputation within that community and increase the chance that the program will
continue year after year.
For instance, where we’re headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Lexmark has
been a sponsor of Reforest the
Bluegrass since 1999. This
treasured community effort has planted more than 200,000 trees and restored over
195 acres of floodplains, and is a tradition we plan to continue for years to
The greatest challenge often lies in prioritizing which local initiatives to
pursue. To determine where to allocate resources for the greatest impact on a
local level, there are two things to consider:
Is there a local sustainability team in place that can work
cross-functionally with the local partners and the corporate team to ensure
Which local programs will create maximum benefit? This includes evaluating
both time and dollars invested. Consider long-term impact, as the longevity
of the program will increase its success and influence.
Sustainability is not just a company or community issue; it is a
multi-stakeholder issue. From current and prospective employees to customers,
partners and investors, sustainability is becoming increasingly important in
77 percent of consumers are
to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place, while
73 percent of investors state that efforts to improve the environment and
society contribute to their investment decisions.
Furthermore, we see this impacting career decisions — as Gen Z and Millennials
want to work for companies that care for the planet and the communities in which
they live and operate. Over half of Gen Zs (55 percent) and millennials (54
percent) say they
a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job from them.
At the end of the day, investing in global and local sustainability impact is
not only the right thing to do for society, but the right thing to do for your
business. An investment in sustainability is also an investment in long-term
reputation and valuation.
Published Jan 8, 2024 8am EST / 5am PST / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET