DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY FOR A COMPLEX INDUSTRIAL GROUP
A CR, ESG, or sustainability strategy is now indispensable for companies. The implementation in the value chain and alignment with the corporate strategy is self-evident. But how does one succeed in transforming the strategy into a self-runner in the company?
A large, successful, and globally positioned industrial group had recognized that corporate responsibility and sustainability are firmly anchored in the company’s values, but that a strategic orientation is required. The challenge was to do justice to the diverse business areas. These are not only active in different technical areas but are also partly in the b2b and partly in the b2c sector as well as geographically and culturally diverse.
The initial objective was to identify joint fields of action that are of overriding relevance. That was an essential aspect since sustainability and innovation plus the achievement of synergy effects at the group level were decisive success factors. Additionally, the aim was to develop control instruments, measures in the value chain, and governance structures for all key management methods.
The doubts and resistance in the business groups were initially present to a not inconsiderable extent. The consideration prevailed that the business groups were too diverse for a superordinate approach to be possible. Nevertheless, it was possible to develop a Group-wide sustainability strategy that was shared and even enthusiastically received by all business units, as the key aspects could be meaningfully interlinked:
- Anchoring in the corporate values
- Identification of group-wide fields of action
- Consistent market and added value orientation
- Combining sustainability and innovation
- Focus on governance and reporting
- A clear understanding of the effects
But it is not only about results but also about bringing people and organizations into the process. In this case, the open-ended development of the strategy using a bottom-up approach was the right methodology. Everyone helped in shaping the strategy to meet the needs of the business units. On this basis, the buy-in was effortless.
Dr. Markus Groß-Engelmann
Managing Partner, concern GmbH
Tel +49 (0) 221 630 606 300
Mobile +49 (0) 173 2313069