More on Change and Sustainability


This is Class 2 of the MOOC Specialization, Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent.

In this class you will learn more change agent skills and hear from people who have made changes in their organizations.
You will also learn more about green design and sustainability reporting.
The skills from this class will help improve products and services in your company or help the company issue its first, or an improved sustainability report.

What you will learn

Implementing Change: The basics

Introducing change in a organization is not simple. Initiatives you think are ‘no brainers’ can face opposition and more complex change requires careful planning. Your success in initiating change depends on your ability to understand and leverage the organizational forces that constrain and empower individual discretion. In this module you will learn that initiating change requires both leadership and effective management. You will learn how to identify the forces at work in the organization that can be tapped to drive change and the forces that maintain the status quo, restraining change to the new state. Finally, you will identify the ways that the roles people hold in organizations constrain their behavior in predictable ways…that you can use to anticipate opposition and identify potential allies.

Implementing Change: Practical Considerations

Organizations often don’t act rationally, at least not from your position in the firm. That’s because people in different parts of the organization are responsible for different things…and whose initiatives get implemented is a political process that requires you to gain support from people who are not directly affected by the change and avoid active opposition by people who have other projects and ideas that they think are more important than what you want to propose. In this module you will examine the political side of introducing change and examine the choices you have when introducing change. And, you will learn two tools for understanding, and leveraging, the political ‘lay of the land’ to gain the support needed to have your maintainability initiatives accepted where you work or live.

Green Design

IntroductionThis module introduces the key ideas of green design or design for the environment (DfE). The design phase of a product or building usually only absorbs a small fraction of the entire budget, but determines the product’s or building’s impact for years to come. Therefore, getting design right is crucial to achieving sustainability. Once your company has designed and developed a good product you need to convey that to consumers. We talk about labeling as one means of doing this. We also discuss problems with ‘greenwashing’ or over-stating a product’s green attributes. In this module we introduce Life-Cycle Assessment (sometimes Life-Cycle Analysis or LCA). This is a powerful tool for identifying where a product’s major impact comes from, which allows the company to redesign targeting those high impact areas. Next week we practice doing an LCA.

Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability reporting or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reporting is becoming commonplace among medium and large companies. Web-based reporting is fairly inexpensive and a good way to begin reporting, if your company doesn’t already issue or post some type of report. This module discusses four reasons for doing CSR reporting, what makes a report credible to stakeholders, and mentions some of the reporting standards that your should consider using.The standards I discuss are GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), which is an overall template, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) that specifically address carbon and water reporting, and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), which identifies the key performance indicators (KPIs) for different industries. The three standards are not mutually exclusive, but fit together.The second video gives an overview of how reports are generally structured and describes what two experts look for when they read sustainability reports. Knowing what experts see as strengths and weaknesses will help you develop a better report. There are two short videos from GRI that gives an overview of its reporting framework. Roger Stace jobs us and gives his perspective on CSR reporting. There is a discussion of the quality of some CSR reports that are posted as READINGS. The reports we will discuss are VW, Carnival Cruises and H&M, the fast fashion clothing company.

What’s included