Making Sustainability Part of Your Core Business

Our customized services help organizations and their stakeholders move beyond isolated activities, and create integrated sustainability strategies that stimulate innovation and growth:

Sustainability Acumen Workshops.  Sustainable business practices are increasingly in demand for managers at all levels. Our hands-on training and experiential exercises accelerate the transfer of sustainable principles into everyday decision-making, with coverage of key concepts, language, and tools of sustainability.

Sustainability Integration Consulting.  Connecting your core business drivers with your Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activities is essential for success, and our Sustainability Roadmap (see below) can help you do it. It emphasizes value creation, and helps promote innovation, generate growth, reduce expenses, minimize risk, and leverage capital investments – and we can also help with economical prototyping and refinement of new strategies before and during scale-up.

Sustainability Leadership Programs.  Society increasingly looks to business to help solve complex environmental and human challenges – challenges that can also offer tremendous business opportunities. We help leaders at all levels cultivate applicable skills with total-immersion business simulations, like our new Rio Negro Pulp Mill simulation, that provide a safe practice environment and connect personal development with corporate strategic goals.


Case Study: Helping Sustainability Specialists Make the Business Case for Their Initiatives

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Sustainability analysts are most successful when they can make a business-oriented case for their initiatives, especially to the C-suite. As part of EarthShift Global’s Sustainability Assessment Bootcamp, WholeWorks provided a full-day hands-on workshop where participants learned to apply basic finance and strategy concepts when explaining the impact of proposed projects on their core businesses. The final exercise: preparing a CEO-oriented pitch presentation.

I really enjoyed the Sustainability Integration workshop. Matt Mayberry’s perspectives resonated with and reinforced my experiences in GE, while providing a more structured approach to thinking through initiatives and preparing leadership communications. The pacing was just right, allowing plenty of interaction and discussion, and time to absorb the concepts and practice applying them. I think this workshop would be of interest to anyone tasked with developing and implementing sustainability projects or initiatives.
— Bill Flanagan, Director, Ecoassessment Center of Excellence, Resource & Environmental Strategies, General Electric Company

Case Study: Incorporating Sustainability into Leadership Development

Starwood has been a sustainability leader in the hospitality industry in large part because senior executives view sustainability as essential to their branded guest experience. WholeWorks’s custom simulation for Starwood's Leadership Development Experience program taught senior managers how to effectively factor sustainability into brand-defining initiatives and assess property-level return on investment. Result: future initiatives that will benefit the environment and Starwood’s business.

This simulation was one of the most robust and impactful leadership programs I have attended. . . I was so impressed, I hired WholeWorks to develop a similar simulation for business leaders in my organization.
— Colleen Keating, former SVP Franchise Operations, Starwood Hotels and Resort Worldwide.

Our Roadmap for Sustainability Integration

Integrating sustainability with your core business requires innovative solutions, not simple either/or choices. No two companies follow the same path, but our research has revealed common steps that are critical to success – steps WholeWorks can help you take.



Purpose and Values

A clear sense of purpose and solid values can motivate and guide organizations towards sustainability. WholeWorks can help you move from words to action – ensuring that day-to-day behavior reflects your desired organizational culture. As John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, notes, aligning purpose and values within a conscious everyday culture “energizes and engages employees, promotes creativity and innovation, and helps businesses achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.”


The integration process starts by clarifying what matters most to your business’s long-term success. This includes deeper exploration of customer needs and concerns of key stakeholders, like employees, suppliers, investors, local communities, governments, and NGO's. We help you apply tools like Materiality Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to develop metrics for the most critical ESG issues.


Mapping cause-and-effect linkages between proposed ESG efforts and impacts on key stakeholders, including investors, is essential to the sustainability process. The right initiatives can advance your core business model and generate financial value while producing societal benefit. WholeWorks helps you apply tools like strategy mapping and Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI) to build compelling business cases and earn support in the C-suite.


Sustainability leaders set aspirational goals that stretch thinking across their organizations. We can help you identify high-leverage targets in greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, waste reduction, sustainability-advantaged products, diversity, responsible sourcing, and other areas that will drive innovation and growth.


One barrier to sustainability implementation is change anxiety, prompted by challenging sustainability targets. This can prompt false choices, such as viewing sustainability as a trade-off with profitability and growth. Over the past two decades, we have helped organizations develop innovative solutions to complex challenges - and we can help you leverage design thinking and other tools to turn complexity and ambiguity into creative and competitive advantage.


Design thinking relies on rapid prototyping to test new concepts with stakeholders, to ensure that proposed solutions will hold up during real-world implementation. Done properly it’s a quick, low-cost way of generating practical insights that allow confident scale-up. WholeWorks can help your organization make smart prototypes.


This final stage in the integration process implements the insights and experiences from previous steps, but learning needs to continue. We help your organization analyze the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives, adjust as needed, and achieve your goals under evolving conditions.

Learn more . . .