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common challenges

Most of us are good people with our hearts and minds in the right place. So, why do sustainability (or “ESG”) agendas so often struggle to get off the ground or get the right traction?

We’ve pulled together some insights on the common blockers and challenges that we’ve seen companies face in the sustainability space.


If you recognise any of them, feel free to get in touch to discuss!


"Where to even start? Which of the million and one frameworks and pledges to sign up to? Does it even matter?

Maybe best to do nothing – or copy our competitors so we stay in the pack."

Temporal myopia

"There’s so much to do that’s urgent (next funding round, product launch…). The issues facing people and the planet won’t really be felt (or given a value premium) for some years yet – tackling them can wait."


"We’ve got a sustainability (or “ESG”) plan but it’s entirely separate to the core strategy and day-to-day delivery.


But that’s ok, it ticks the box for reporting and we don't really want it cluttering our commercial plans anyway."

Someone else's problem

"Most of us don’t need to worry about sustainability – that’s the job of the CSO (or equivalent).


Or, perhaps it would be good to get started on sustainability but we’d need to hire a CSO."

Even when you do get the sustainability agenda off the ground, if the strategy isn’t based on a good understanding of impacts and dependencies across the value chain, fiercely prioritised and embedded in the core strategy, it won’t deliver the impact and value that it could. Here are some of the issues we’ve seen in companies with an existing sustainability (or "ESG") strategy. Are any of them familiar?

the Impact Plateau

The sustainability agenda is costing more time and money – you’ve got pledges coming out of your ears – but it doesn’t feel like it’s quite having the same incremental impact per £ as it did at the start.

the Overshoot

There are so many people running around doing so much in the sustainability space that it’s not clear what’s actually important. In fact, the noise is starting to confuse your brand position.

the Endless Climb

Constantly playing catch up with competitors and scrambling to adhere to new regulations just in time. Never on the front foot, just dealing with one fire after another.

Get in touch to discuss your challenges, follow us on LinkedIn, or keep exploring.

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