Does Culture Matter Again?

Does Culture Matter Again?

Does embedding sustainability shape corporate culture, and if so, how can we make sure the impacts are positive? A call to practitioners.
Stephanie Bertels January 20, 2012
A common question I hear from practitioners is: what are other companies doing to build a sustainability culture? Despite all of our collective blogging and “tweeting” and conference going, it seems we still aren’t doing a great job of sharing our experiences.

If you’re a practitioner reading this… drop me a line. Share a story about how you’ve tried to embed sustainability in your organization. Tell me about what you struggled with, and how you tried to overcome it. We need more storytelling and more sharing, and this could be a place for it to happen. If you have a story to share, get in touch: we need more “voices from the field.”

When I was doing my PhD, I was warned away from the topic of culture. I was told it was a fad that had lost its steam. I’m happy to see culture back on the rise. There have been several special issues launched lately related to culture and, more specifically, to the greening of culture or the greening of human resource management. It’s encouraging to see this “cultural” revival. Fresh on the heels of writing two different review chapters on the research on culture and sustainability, and the research on sustainability and culture/climate, I’d say it’s about time!

There are lots of questions that remain unanswered about how sustainability shapes and is shaped by culture and climate. That said, there still seems to be an emphasis on success stories in the sustainability realm, and the gap between research and practice remains wide.

For those practitioners and researchers out there with an interest in spanning the gap around the topic of culture and climate, get in touch and join the active community we're assembling on embedding sustainability.

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