To be effective, your sustainable development strategy requires top-level commitment, as well as support throughout your business.
Understanding how the strategy benefits your business makes this easier. Management need to recognise that sustainable development shouldn't be a cost, or just a way of complying with legislation, but a method of improving your business, boosting profits and reducing your environmental and social impacts.
A credible strategy should reflect the requirements of stakeholders in your business - such as employees, customers, investors, regulators and the local community.
A genuine commitment also needs to tie in with the values of your business and your overall business mission. A strategy that does not do this is unlikely to achieve its desired outcomes. You should incorporate your commitment in your policies and business strategy.
Once this commitment has been established, you need to ensure finance and other resources are available to make things happen. You also need to ensure that sustainability is taken into account in your decision-making processes at every level. For example, decisions made during the design of new products can have a major effect on your overall impact on the environment and society.
You may find it useful to appoint one or more sustainability champions - this can help to maintain your commitment to sustainable development and continuous improvement.