The sustainability field is maturing. When I entered the field in the 1990s, I knew most of the players. We huddled together, inventing and sharing strategies to entice organizations to engage. Four of us in Portland, Oregon created the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. It seemed an act of hubris, but our colleagues needed a professional association and now it has an international board and it has defined our professional accreditation.
We’ve made a lot of progress. The vast majority of the world’s largest corporations produce sustainability or corporate responsibility reports. Sustainability has become a household term. There are still people and businesses that don’t get it yet; that’s just how Diffusion of Innovation happens. You reach the tipping point usually when about 20% get it; 80% are still oblivious. For those of us early adopters, the tipping point was palpable. I can’t recall the year at least a decade ago, but I remember we were all asking one another, “It feels like something has shifted. Are you seeing it too?”
Now the field that has evolved from fringe idea to mainstream needs to get to work making a difference. This article proposes 7 shifts we must make. Tell me what you think.