#20 Sustainability as a Director’s Responsibility

How can a director be more sustainable?

David Watt is the Executive Director of Institute of Directors in Scotland.

He highlights that although director responsibilities seem to grow all the time, a key responsibility is to ensure that the business continues to succeed now and in the future – even when they are no longer part of the organisation.

That’s why it’s important to take a wider view and consider the long term sustainability and prosperity of the company.

It is a challenge to balance the long term and short term goals within business but increasingly companies do see that sustainability is about looking about company resources, natural resources and their people.

The skill of a director is to make judgements on the basis of evidence and context and make difficult decisions as to priorities in short term while remembering the medium and long term.

Most companies are in business to make a profit and directors won’t last long in business if they don’t do that.

Through partnerships with Abellio/Scotrail, the IOD offers its members the option to change how they travel.  This has been particularly successful especially on longer routes with people upgrading to business sections on trains with their IOD card.

David also highlights how there is a lot going on within Scotrail in both saving energy costs and reducting carbon, and reminds us that saving money and helping the environment do go hand in hand.

The IOD has a small office based team that now communicates mainly through skype, email, messaging and social media rather than printing and postage.  It’s also more conscious about the amount of electricity and heating used.

If you’re working to make your organisation more sustainable it’s a winner all round.David Watt

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