- Category: Sustainable Business Leaders Interviews
- Published: Monday, 22 June 2015 23:47
- Written by BT Let’s Talk
Niall Dunne works for BT as Chief Sustainability Officer, a relatively new position in the corporate world.
Nial recently gave an interview to Luxembourg-based website GreenWorks, a green-business news and directory site that connects readers to environmental topics.
What follows are important highlights from this conversation, which aim to provoke thought on the issue of sustainability in business.
The role of a Chief Sustainability Officer or CSO
Niall Dunne gave insight in his interview about what his post as CSO is focused on. CSOs typically work with other executive officers and top-tier management personnel to oversee sustainability as an integrated component of a company’s business model, from strategies to products.
They also seek to reduce carbon footprints in daily operations. Mr. Dunne’s role as CSO for BT is also to serve as inspiration to employees, while providing value to customers.
The green agenda and corporate resistance
Niall Dunne’s overall message is a philosophy of raising consciousness about the benefits of sustainability in business, as this adds value to corporations, and in turn the global economy, by encouraging innovation of better products. He is cautious in labelling products or services as “sustainable” or “green,” as this, he believes, does not mean much to consumers.
Instead, simple, reliable messages are needed about sustainability, which is how to make the business behaviour mainstream and utilised by more companies.
As for corporate resistance, Niall is not sure why businesses have not yet fully embraced environmental philosophies, noting that green behaviours are responsible business practices that save money.
Green washing versus enlightenment
Niall went on to comment on the local consumer functioning in a global economy when questioned in his interview, and also commented on the opportunity for transparency to better make the source of products known.
Furthermore, differentiation of companies that participate in green washing from ones that do not was made. Green washing is devoting more time and effort marketing oneself as being green, rather than actually conducting business in that manner.
Mr. Dunne believes that sustainability is not trendy, but can instead become integral to everyday behaviours. He made a passionate and enlightened argument about the need for products to have low impact on the environment, which is at the core of innovation and business growth.
Read the full interview here to find out Niall Dunne’s stance on social media as the next iteration of marketing as it continues to evolve, and to read about his fascinating views of the influence of communication technology on the global economy.