Sustainable organisation

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For sustainability work to be successful, it’s essential that you clearly demonstrate that sustainability is important and that it must permeate all parts of the business. By talking about sustainability, as a business owner or someone in another management role, you can generate motivation and innovation around this issue among employees.

Designating an individual to be responsible for sustainability work at your business is one way to show that you are taking the issue seriously and helps to ensure the work is more goal-oriented and strategic. This does not mean that only one person should work on sustainability. It is often better to involve multiple functions within the business because it is uncommon for a single person to have specialist expertise within environmental issues and economic and social factors, such as the work environment.

If your business is small, the person responsible for sustainability may also have other areas of responsibility. If it is a larger business, or one facing multiple and larger sustainability challenges, it can be useful to have one or more employees who focus solely on that field. It is important that those responsible for sustainability work are close to the management team in terms of organisational structure.

Questions to consider
  • Who or what function is currently working on sustainability issues? Do they have the right expertise to deal with all elements of sustainability? Is there a need for skills development or new recruitment?
  • Who has overall responsibility for the sustainability work?
  • Are you an approachable and inspiring leader when it comes to sustainability?
  • How do you encourage employees to put forward suggestions and ideas?
  • How can sustainability work be integrated into the organisation so that it is not just incidental to the business’ ordinary activities?
  • Do all managers in the organisation have responsibility and a mandate to incorporate sustainability into their decisions and their day-to-day work?
  • How do you monitor sustainability issues and developments in the wider world?
Links and detailed information

Tips for sustainability work
How best to organise sustainability work.

Tips on how you as a manager can be a role model for sustainability work.
Managers as role models for sustainability work –

Tips on how to get started with your work environment management (in Swedish).
Managing the work environment –

Get help from the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s check lists and guides.
Get started with work environment management on the Swedish Work Environment Authority website

For those seeking information on equality, practical examples and specific tools for equality work, visit the portal Jämstä
Working on equality in the workplace – Jämstä

Information on discrimination
What to do as an employer – Equality Ombudsman (DO)


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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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