Sustainability and CSR can be difficult concepts to grasp, especially when trying to make a business case for them. We ran across two contrasting philosophies in this regard recently.
The first is this Sustainability ROI notebook – an excel spreadsheet that one could call extremely thorough, if not overly complicated. We haven’t used it in practice, but we read through it thinking about our past experiences in quantifying actual economic value of sustainability/CSR initiatives. The spreadsheet is more likely to be helpful to the inexperienced than sustainability veterans. And while it could be useful in organizing one’s thoughts and numbers, it is not something we would recommend presenting to management. Which takes us to…
This article, while not specifically about sustainability/CSR, is wholly on-point. Simplicity, brevity and conciseness wins points. We have written many times about presenting sustainability in a way that is meaningful to the audience (e.g., management) rather than to a sustainability practitioner. It may be helpful to have details such as those in the Sustainability ROI notebook available to you, but your audience is unlikely to ask in such depth.
Einstein is credited with saying “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” That’s pretty smart.