Chapter 1 – Don’t Call Me a Consultant
My name’s Derek Sabori and brands like New Balance, Billabong, RVCA, Quiksilver, Zumiez, and Blue Tomato have entrusted me to help build and strengthen their sustainability programs.
As the former VP of Sustainability at Volcom, I’m well acquainted with the challenges they (and perhaps you) face, so that makes for a good fit. But, seven years ago, I left that role to go out on my own and help as many brands as I could.
In this new role, I used to refer to myself as a sustainability “consultant.”
Today, I prefer to call myself a sustainability coach, or a guide. Maybe even an adviser; ultimately I’m hoping to be your in-house sustainability teacher. And that’s an important clarification.
If you’re on the fence about “learning more” about sustainability and climate action at your brand…allow me to build a case for it here.
I’ll start with, as the saying goes, I’ve got good news and bad news…
The bad news is we are living in the midst of a climate emergency that we created; you’re seeing and hearing this everywhere you look, it’s likely impacting your business, there’s no way around it, and it’s more urgent than ever that we confront it straight on.
The good news? There is one of the most exciting economic opportunities of our lifetime waiting for us just around the corner (you’ve seen the Inflation Reduction Act, right!?). A new economy built on clean renewables, efficiency, transparency, and circularity is there for you to reap the benefits of only if you’re prepared and ready for it.
So, answer this: Is your team ready for it? Are they fluent in the new language of sustainable development? Will your brand be a part of the solution?
I believe that the success of our brands today shouldn’t affect the opportunities of young brands tomorrow. Would you agree?
In fact, that’s the very definition of what we call Sustainable Development (or sustainable business) – It’s business that meets our present needs and expectations, yet doesn’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs and expectations; especially at the hand of resource depletion, pollution, or an out of control, warming planet.
And in that case… business itself plays a crucial role in the solution.
Businesses, of course, are made up of people and arguably, people want to do the right thing.
The problem? Most of us didn’t get the education we need to understand or address that “bad news” or our sustainability challenges. And once any of us does dive in to learn more and try to do our part, we soon realize how difficult it is to navigate the complexities of it all.
To make matters worse, Sustainability has historically been a sideline topic rather than one that’s integrated into each role. So, it’s almost been looked at as a burden and an “added cost.” Rarely a priority.
But, there’s more good news… Your people are eager to be a part of the solution, they just don’t know where to start or what questions to ask.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be recommending your team’s first steps to become a part of the solution, so stay tuned to see the picture unfold.
Spoiler Alert: If you read the header, you know where I’m going 🙂 Eager to get started? Scan the QR code here and get access to my free download:
Interested in sustainability training for your team? Let’s jump on a 20 min. call to discuss your needs and my approach. This link and/or QR code takes you straight to a booking calendar.