Leave Your Ego at the Door

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Leave Your Ego at the Door

If you created a wordcloud of the most popular words in sustainability, collaboration would be right in the middle, writ large. And for good reason. So many of the things we need to do to create a more sustainable and inclusive future require cooperation across supply chains, sectors, and countries.

While in theory collaboration sounds easy, in practice it can be hard. After the initial honeymoon period, problems inevitably come to light as you get into the detail. Things become complicated and emotions can run high. It’s exactly at this point you’ve got to roll up your sleeves, problem solve and keep your eyes on the prize. Good collaborators do this instinctively. They also, crucially, put aside their egos for the greater good.

Over the last month there have been some great examples of successful collaboration in action:

  • The pharma industry collaborating on a COVID-19 vaccine;
  • US President-elect Joe Biden committing to re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement;
  • Institutional Investors issuing an open letter calling on major companies to disclose their climate risk or face potential divestment;
  • The UK advertising industry launching Ad Net Zero;
  • The Irish manufacturing industry launching circular innovation network, Circuleire;
  • The Irish broadcasting sector establishing the Broadcasting Sustainability Network and a sector-wide Roadmap (see more below).

Collaboration is not something that comes naturally to everyone and certainly not to companies. At SustainabilityWorks it’s one of our core values and we strive to put it into practice in the way we work. At the end of the day, we all need to learn how to be experts in collaboration. It’s the only way we will solve the challenges we face.



Our November Top 5

  • Global emissions by sector: This is a clear and easy to understand visual breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by sector. Reminds us of where our emissions come from and where decarbonisation efforts should focus. (VisualCapitalist.com)
  • EPA report on the state of Ireland’s environment: The recent Environmental Protection Agency report on the health of Ireland’s natural environment made for sobering reading. It showed that environmental indicators across many areas – from our emissions, to our waterways, to our biodiversity – are going the wrong way. This article by Kevin O’Sullivan gives a good summary of the issues. (Irish Times)
  • Retailers embrace second hand market: Brands such as Ikea and COS are launching secondhand re-sale stores on their own e-commerce channels as consumer demand for pre-loved goods increases against the backdrop of a move towards circularity. (The Wallstreet Journal)
  • Simplfying sustainability reporting standards: The sustainability reporting landscape is complex and everyone agrees there needs to be a rationalisation and simplification of the various standards and frameworks out there. This article explores some of the moves that are underway to make this happen. (Responsible Investor)
  • Restoring Ireland’s peat bogs: The Irish government has approved €108m in funding for the rehabilitation of Bord na Móna peat bogs. Additionally, there will be €28 million from the ‘Just Transition Fund’ invested in employment and community supports for communities that were traditionally economically dependent on peat harvesting. (Irish Times)

Quote of the Month


Client Spotlight: Irish Broadcasting Sector

Last week, our client, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, launched the Broadcasting Sustainability Network at a virtual event opened by Catherine Martin T.D. Over the last year, SustainabilityWorks has worked with the BAI and representatives from the across sector including RTE, TG4, commercial and local radio stations, and community radio to establish the Network and co-create a Roadmap to guide action on the Sustainable Development Goals. The commitment and enthusiasm from the sector has so far been phenomenal.
Check out this video, which was put together for the launch event and also the Roadmap document – a practical guide for broadcasters.

Mark Carney to Give Reith Lectures

This year’s BBC’s Reith Lectures will be delivered by Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England and outspoken advocate for ESG investing and sustainable finance. There are four lectures, the first one tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd December at 9am on BBC Radio 4 with subsequent lectures at the same time on the following three Wednesdays. The lectures “will chart how we have come to esteem financial value over human value and how we have gone from market economies to market societies.” Mark will argue that this has contributed to a trio of crises: of credit, Covid and climate. A lecture series not to be missed.

Report: Leading with a sustainable purpose

This report, from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, is an amazing resource for any company or business leader looking to integrate purpose and sustainability into the core of their business. Drawing on insights from the people leading the sustainability agenda in Interface, Ikea, Unilever and DSM, it is full of practical advice and is easy to follow and understand. Definitely one of the best and most comprehensive ‘how to’ guides we’ve seen. There are also two webinars with the featured sustainability leaders that provide extra insights as to the approaches that worked in their companies.

What We’re Listening To

There are so many good podcasts and radio shows on at the moment. Here are a few that we’ve been listening to recently:

Consciousness and Capitalism: A trailblazer when it comes to sustainability and a great thinker and communicator, Ed Gillespie gets deep in this Crystals, Clits & Climate podcast about consciousness and capitalism. Questionable podcast name but a thought provoking listen!

The Green Room: The multi-talented Megan Best is hosting a weekly radio show on Dublin City FM where she talks to cultural leaders in Ireland about their wins in sustainability and circularity.

Climate Allies: Our former SW colleague Ali Sheridan talks about all things sustainability and climate with a range of different guests in her new Climate Allies podcast.

Sustainability Jobs

  • Financial analyst – Fincovi
  • CEO, Head of Business & Public Sector Department, and 3 Programme Execs – 5 roles in total – SEAI
  • Onboarding Manager / Project Manager – Sustainability – Accuvio
  • Environmental Program Manager – Amazon 
  • Cycling Admin Officer and Infrastructural Officers – 6 roles in total – An Taisce
  • Lectureship in Sustainability in Enterprise – UCC