7 Mission Statements that inspire Sustainability

How do you know if a company is serious on the sustainability front?

Well…take a look at their mission and vision statements or their guiding principles and values – those few words that are the reason for an organization’s very existence will tell you what they’re doing towards creating a sustainable world or whether sustainability is even on their minds.

The presence of the S-word can sometimes directly effect how a company may behave in both good and bad times.

Also read 5 Automotive companies with sustainability mission statements

It turns out that companies that are leading the sustainability space have sustainability embedded into their mission statements – which means sustainability or protecting the environment is one of the reasons that these companies exist. A good mission statement with a sustainability focus keeps the company on track during adverse times and helps in fighting the eternal battle between commercialization and values. 

Here are 7 mission statements that inspire Sustainability:

Chevron:

Can you call it a green company with un-green products? Lot of companies exist on this premise. But Chevron’s is a classic mission statement with sustainability embedded in a very clear and direct form

  • Our company’s foundation is built on our values, which distinguish us and guide our actions. We conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner. We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment and benefit the communities where we work.

Adidas:

Again, I feel, how can a shoe or a clothing company ever call themselves green? But at least that’s what they believe to be their mission – Embracing the Triple Bottom Line framework of People, Planet and Profits. One of the lines of its mission charter reads

  • We are a global organisation that is socially and environmentally responsible, that embraces creativity and diversity and is financially rewarding for our employees and shareholders.

Patagonia:

Can we call it the renegade company…anti-business…radical? Call what you may, it’s mission statement is a direct hit at sustainable business practices. Short, precise and conveys the message

  • Our Reason for Being: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Starbucks Coffee:

One of the best loved coffees in the world and they know how to communicate their sustainability practices. Their Environmental Mission Statement is different from its main mission of “nurturing the human spirit – one person, one cup at a time”. Though sustainability is not in their mission statement per se, it screams out loud and clear – on their website, inside their stores. Here’s a brief of it:

  • Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ is our commitment to do business in ways that are good for people and the planet.

TATA Group:

One of the most loved, respected with highest brand equity business group in India. More recently known for their acquisition of luxury car maker Jaguar-Land Rover and also for Nano – the world’s cheapest car. Still grappling with forming frameworks on sustainability…not exactly a perfect sustainability manifesto, but a true spirit of CSR governs its values

  • Our practice of returning to society what we earn evokes trust among consumers, employees, shareholders and the community…

Interface Global:

Leader in sustainability by transforming its business 360. It’s mission statement is self-explanatory and one of the best! Ray Anderson, the late founder of the company began the sustainability journey at age 62.

  • …endeavouring to become the first name in industrial ecology, a corporation that cherishes nature and restores the environment.

Apple:

One of the most long, winding, and repetitive mission statements – Very unlike their products of minimalism era. The word “Environmental” is present in 7 of the 8 Guiding Principles.

  • Apple Computer is committed to protecting the environment, health, and safety of our employees, customers and the global communities where we operate. We recognize that…!

Also read Brewing sustainability? Not quite. Mission statements of 5 coffee companies

These 7 mission statements are good examples of an organization’s commitment towards minimizing its impact on the relevant ecosystems.

Even though some of these companies have had questionable environmental/social records in the past, their sustainability embedded statements have enabled them to rise above the challenges and get focused on the right things. These statements are not generic or contain some warm fuzzy words. They are not the “Resume” of what a company does.

They are the core values distilled in few words – some are compact and precise, while some are exceptionally long – but nonetheless, convey the message.

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