What do Sustainability Professionals Really want?

Photo of solar panels by Antonio Garcia Unsplash

What do you as a Sustainability professional REALLY want? And has it changed? Have you lost your mojo?

So you started out in Sustainability because you cared, you knew the facts; you could see that climate change was not just a future event but already happening. You saw the impact of vehicle emissions on the health of people in cities; you knew that landfill sites were emitting the climate change gas methane, you deplored the rate of deforestation world-wide.

You wanted to change the world, to slow down the rate of environmental disaster, to make a difference. Maybe you got trained; maybe you just ‘got into sustainability’.

You ran campaigns, you rolled out programmes, you battled to get people to turn off lights, to dispose of waste responsibly, to invest in green infrastructure.

And then something happened, your team was reduced in size, the company ceased to prioritise ‘green’ issues, you began to think that your little bit of impact was so small that you were really wasting your time. Or maybe it wasn’t that, maybe your team just lost its way, everyone had a different priority and was competing for the small amount of resource available. Or maybe life got in the way, your family moved up your priority list, your job became ‘just a job’.

And here you are, of course you’re still working in sustainability – it’s your passion, you are convinced that it is one of the most important issues, if not the most important issue, to be tackling at this time.

So what do you really want? When I talk to people I find they want respect, recognition, resources, a team that runs smoothly and support from senior management. They say that they are always tired, that there is more to do than they can ever achieve.

On the face of it, it seems that people in Sustainability want renewed motivation, recognition and support from others and also a decent balance of work and play but why? Is it just selfish or is it still ultimately that we still believe deep down that we can make a difference?

I’m on a mission to help Sustainability Professionals and their teams reach peak performance, rediscover their mojo and play their part in changing the world, and all this without getting burnt out.

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