Once upon a time: The untold story of sustainability

Yesterday, a room full of smartly-dressed sustainability professionals were swinging their arms about and humming a siren noise in unison. No, this wasn't a glitch in the matrix. These sustainability professionals hadn't lost the plot. There was in fact a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.

Once upon a time: The untold story of sustainability

They were taking part in a presenting skills masterclass at edie’s inaugral Sustainaiblity Skills workshop. It was a day of practical sessions and case studies for those looking to broaden their skillset and take the next step in their career.

There was one particular skill that underpinned almost every session of the workshop: the art of good storytelling. “Presenting the story of sustainability can convert business talk into passion, which creates new opportunities,” Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe told me during an on-stage interview that morning.

Throughout the day, representatives from the likes of Interface, RB and Canon all agreed that, behind every sustainability or CSR initiative, there is a story for your board, employees and consumers. But it is how that story is told to each of those audiences that is now so crucial.

You already have a narrative that matters. The historic climate talks in Paris provides you with a compelling backstory. A report released this week revealed the employment benefits of sustainable business, which gives you an apt setting to launch new projects. And throughout your entire organisation, you have the characters that can spark new ideas and translate those visions into reality.

With next week being National Storytelling Week, perhaps now is the perfect time to think about YOUR sustainability story. After all, we all have an obligation to ensure Earth’s sustainability story has a happy ending.

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