• Benoit Leleux
  • Jan van der Kaaij


Contrary to popular belief and the optimism generated by the ambitious global targets set by the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP 21) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the implementation of corporate sustainability programs has been slow at best, sloppy and ineffective at worst. Less than a third of global companies have developed clear business cases or supported value propositions for their approaches to sustainability [1]. With many initiatives stuck in storytelling (i.e. good stories but little action) or cherry-picking (i.e. some actions but with limited objectives) mode, the need for the executive level to start thinking about transformation toward a more sustainable business model is rising as rapidly as the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. As reference, according to the UN weather agency, CO2 levels are at their highest in the last 650,000 years, and so are the average temperatures, with the world’s nine warmest years all having occurred since 2005, and the five warmest since 2010 [2]. Companies and executives need to develop a new sense of urgency when it comes to sustainability, moving it from the realm of compliance to that of a key driver of performance and innovation, which requires imbedding it deeply into their core strategies. And crossing the chasm [3] in this case, that is, getting wider acceptance and implementation of this new reality in the higher circles of management, requires education, new skills, competences and tools.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoit Leleux
    • 1
  • Jan van der Kaaij
    • 2
  1. 1.International Institute for Management DevelopmentLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Finch & BeakBredaThe Netherlands

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