Sustainability Leadership: Redefining transformative sustainability leadership in our new world

Posted: May 21, 2021

Our Sustainability Customer Advisory Board (CAB) brings together sustainability leaders from across the power, utilities, chemicals, energy, food & beverage and manufacturing sectors.

April’s CAB meeting focused on answering questions at the vanguard of sustainability leadership including: how have the disruptions of the past year coupled with the unquestionable need to combat climate change, impacted your sustainability strategies?

The pace in which companies can move along their sustainability journeys depends on a variety of factors but the new operating environment has accelerated the pace of change globally and seen companies put growing focus on contributing to a greener post-pandemic future. Transformative corporate sustainability leadership has never been more important and regardless of sector, size or programmatic maturity there are common success criteria to achieving positive change.

Recurring success exemplars including embedding sustainability across the business with clear programmatic plans detailing the step-by-step journey towards measurable improvements. As well as mitigating supply chain impacts by supporting external vendors to decrease their own CO2 footprints - including sharing best practice and building in sustainability targets and incentives into contracts. Additionally embracing new initiatives and leveraging the power, passion and expertise of fellow change agents and peers is crucial to fuelling ongoing innovation, with leading companies increasingly using their own facilities to create sustainability laboratories and lighthouse projects. Lastly commitment is key, with the impetus to impart change and take “bold bets” for the future and “travel into the unknown" a common approach leaders shared, in utilizing their pledges as the catalyst to chart a more specific course towards net zero and efficiency in our new world. 

Orsted CSO, Rasmus N.D. Skov said ’A decade ago, Oersted was one of the most fossil fuel intensive energy companies in Europe and now we are ranked the most sustainable energy company in the world. We are 87% of the way to being carbon neutral by 2025 and one of the things we have learned along our transformation journey is that we need to know where you're going in the long term, but you also need to know what you're doing on Monday. Marking firm commitments are of course important but building iterative plans and being clear about how you will live up to those targets is vital’.

Transformative impact of technology

A joint study from The World Economic Forum and PWC has cited that today’s technology already has the capacity to help us achieve 70% of the UN SDGs and their 169 targets. At AVEVA we are accelerating our efforts to grow our technology handprint, optimizing the ways in which our software can help enable the SDGs and drive sustainability within the industries we serve. Our technology is already helping a variety of our customers and leading innovators align their efforts with the UN SDG goals and accelerate their sustainability ambitions.

Momentum builds for policy reform

Following the June G7 meeting and as the world looks ahead to COP26, pressure continues to grow for a step change in sustainability policy both for governments and the private sector alike. It is encouraging to see governments responding with “build back better” commitments. Transformative leadership and governance within the industrial landscape will also be vital as organizations fast-track their transition to sustainable business models.

Our Chief Sustainability Officer, Lisa Johnston added

‘We are living through a time of unforeseen disruption, but also incredible innovation. With the clock ticking on our universal Decade of Action, we are committed to being part of the solution and leveraging our leadership position to help accelerate positive action, while acting as a role model for other companies in our sector. We see ongoing cross-industry dialogue with our peers and fellow leaders critical to catalyzing fresh thinking and advancing this progress.’

  • Discover some of the lessons learned from Orsted, one of the most sustainable energy companies in the world following their successful green transformation here.
  • For more information about AVEVA’s sustainability priorities and how we are helping our customers realize their sustainability ambitions visit