In the previous post of this series on the book Green to Gold, I explained how to systematically construct a big picture of the risks and opportunities your business may face in the top ten environmental challenges of today. In this installment, I will talk about stakeholders.
In developing climate change initiatives for your Canadian business, it is advisable to take a 360 degree look at your stakeholders and anticipate how they may respond.
Five main stakeholder groups are generally applicable to climate change initiatives by Canadian businesses:
- Consumers & Community — employees, consumers, children, local communities
- Investors & Risk Assessors — shareholders, insurers, markets, banks
- Business Partners & Competitors — industry, competitors, B2B, suppliers, CEO and peers
- Rulemakers & Watchdogs — NGOs, regulators, politicians
- Idea Generators & Opinion Leaders — media, think tanks, research centres, academia
Before implementing any environmental initiative, be sure to anticipate your stakeholders’ responses. If in doubt, seek their early feedback. Where appropriate, take a collaborative approach. Reach out and invite them to provide input to your plans. That’s generally my prefered approach. You can’t please everyone all of the time. But establishing mutual understanding through dialogues can go a long way towards avoiding conflicts down the road.
A very useful Stakeholder Mapping Diagram is included in the book, see excerpt from Google Books below. (Note that Google Books limits the number of times you can view this book.)
I have only provided a high level overview here on managing your stakeholders. You can find more useful details in the chapter Who’s Behind The Green Wave in the book (available from Amazon.ca).
In the next post, I will talk about how to manage the downside and build the upside of environmental initiatives.
Contact me if you would like to discuss how these ideas may be applied to your business.