Friday, June 25, 2010

Creating a Business Value and Culture of Sustainability

I stated earlier that I didn’t learn much about sustainability at the World Expo in Shanghai because of my terrific client, Nancy Goshow, co-founder and managing partner of Goshow Architects in NYC. She gave a webinar yesterday for WIPP’s Entrepreneurs, Energy and Environment series titled Creating a Business Value and Culture of Sustainability. Nancy packed so much information into the 30-minute webinar that I would highly recommend people to go listen to it online. You can find archived podcasts of this and other past training sessions on in the Resources section.

Goshow Architects is dedicated to sustainable design for the public sector and is known for its diverse range of green projects in the New York metropolitan area. These are now starting to expand internationally.

Most of us have, by now, started recycling programs and changed our light bulbs. Many have even quit using paper products. (Even me—who HATES to do dishes!). In this webinar, Nancy not only told us HOW to be a sustainable business, but more importantly for what I want to write about here -- how to create a culture of sustainability in our workplace.

Nancy outlined points on creating that culture:

- Inspire stakeholders toward a greater greener future.
- Engage by delegation and collaboration (two heads are better than one).
- Create a Green Task Force supported by a green study group.
- Foster communication up and down within your organization.
- Require accountability and flexibility from all participants.
- Ask all stakeholders to be open and on the watch for new ideas.
- Promote & Maintain an ongoing sustainability conversation with all stakeholders.

She also discussed the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits. Goshow Architects has reached their goal for the triple bottom line this year:

- People: We are a diverse firm of architects working collaboratively.
- Planet: On a variety of High performance green buildings.
- Society: For public sector government agencies serving the public good.
- Profit: We are a very busy firm and we are profitable.

She said sustainability has given Goshow a future focused strategically for success in the 21st century. However, their success has not only been on green design for their projects, but because of the diversity of their people and projects. I’ll be writing more about diversity in the future, and I love to see the importance of diversity tied in with sustainability.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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I have lots of questions, which hopefully some of the older and wiser people on this board will be able to help answer.
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