Antwerp Management School (AMS) and the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) have joined forces to conduct research on the nature and benefits of individual sustainability leadership, drawing on expert opinions, best practices, and existing literature. Since 2015, EPCA has been actively engaged in the promotion of Talent Diversity and Inclusion within its sector as a source of competitive advantage and a key enabler of sustainable growth. The goal of this research is to better understand the behaviours and talents which define thought leaders and to gather more evidence on how individual sustainability leadership can help companies to attract and develop today’s talents into tomorrow’s leaders. This first of two blogs will preview the initial findings, including insights from expert interviews with BASF, Interface, Umicore and Maersk.
The Individual Sustainability Leader
Leadership for sustainability is the ability to influence stakeholders to collaboratively address areas of systemic breakdown in society and turn them into innovative breakthrough solutions. Such leadership can come from those formally charged with responsibility for advancing sustainability, or from individuals that act as sustainability champions, which is consistent with the practice of distributed leadership. Our research reveals a set of key competencies and characteristics of individual sustainability leaders. We highlight six below, cited in the literature, and confirmed by our interviews.