Designing and Implementing Sustainability Action Plans

Dear Valued Customers

In our previous posts on sustainability, we clearly emphasized on its proper definition and importance not only for a country but also for companies as it is redesigning the world itself.  We have to be ready with an eco-advantage mindset to be able to innovate and create value in smart ways.  However, the pitfall is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining and undertaking lots of workshops on awareness and capacity building than understanding or simply better at explaining than doing.

Still, it goes without saying that any sustainability policy development has to pass through four main stages namely planning, development, implementation and monitoring. Each stage features specific processes and interactions between relevant stakeholders and institutions.  There are four groups of policy tools, which can be combined into a policy mix to create more effective policy packages towards sustainability.

The sustainability agenda which next year will mark its decade of implementation, requires multi-stakeholder engagement involving the business community, civil society groups, non-governmental organizations (e.g. consumer groups), and the media. Adequate communication and education to all stakeholders will definitely increase the likelihood of any successful implementation.

High-level political support and commitment is also necessary for any successful sustainability policy implementation.  At the same time, such policies are highly cross-cutting.  Their formulation, implementation and monitoring require a high degree of inter-agency collaboration within government and private sector.

Integrating sustainability policies into action plans is preferable to formulating them as stand-alone policy areas.  However, the level of decentralization in any country should be taken into account to guide the degree and focus of including sub-national governments into the policy formulation and implementation process.

To see results, policy monitoring and evaluation will have to be an on-going activity.  It is the key to determining whether a policy should be extended, adjusted or ceased.  That is why any effective sustainability policy monitoring and evaluation requires well thought out indicators. Fortunately, specific frameworks and criteria for identifying those indicators and developing indicator sets already exist and can be applied to the majority of countries.

See you soon.

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