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A recent GreenBiz article by Joel Makower described how Cargill is preparing all of its employees to understand the concept of sustainability. The giant food and agricultural chemical company is also one of the largest private companies in the United States.
One of its managers who was very knowledgeable in sustainability felt it was time to build the profile of sustainability within the organization. The company organized a summit and invited employees from a variety of roles — supply chain, procurement, plant managers, finance, IT, sales, marketing, communications, legal, R&D, corporate affairs and government relations.
The invitation made it clear that attendees wouldn’t just be passive listeners but active participants. One goal of the event was to “create champions” throughout the company on sustainability. The summit was so successful that it was even expanded to its supply chain.
If a company is committed to integrating sustainability into its operations, it cannot do so effectively just by assigning the responsibility to a chief sustainability officer or comparable position. As Cargill got employees from all of its departments to understand and thus implement sustainability in the various departments, all companies should follow this pattern.