Journal Article

How to make sustainability every employee's responsibility

Harvard Business Review
CB Bhattacharya (2018)
Subject(s): Ethics and social responsibility, Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s): Sustainability, employee engagement, ownership

While many organizations talk the talk of sustainability — doing things like integrating environmental and societal concerns into their business models — very few walk the walk. Unsurprisingly, carbon emissions by the world’s largest companies are increasing, and only one-third of the 600 largest companies in the U.S. have any systematic sustainability oversight at the board level. Based on interviews with CEOs and other executives, companies that are winning the sustainability battle have created the conditions for their stakeholders to own sustainability. In these companies, sustainability is not someone else’s problem. A three-phase model of incubation, launching, and entrenching can help companies move beyond rhetoric and take ownership of sustainability.

ISSN 0017-8012 (Print)