by Guest Blogger – Stephanie Glue

In a few weeks the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015” will be held. The focus of this conference is to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

This conference is a good time for us all to step back and reflect on our own relationship with the environment and the broader concept of sustainability. Although most companies in Australia now embrace the importance of Environmental Management and Corporate Social Responsibility we need to reflect on our activities and question whether what we are doing is really making a difference.

Are our actions simply acting on the edges and offering a Band-Aid solution to a much deeper, systemic problem? Do we need to fundamentally re-think and shift our mind-set regarding what sustainability means and how we lead and pursue opportunities and innovation going forward?

As part of this do we need to fundamentally reflect on our economic and social systems and re-define how we measure success? The global prevalence of economic indicators such as GDP to measure growth and the impact this has had on how we have thought about and framed progress will be key to re-shaping how we envision and create our future and the world that we will leave our children.

In a world where competitive advantage underpinned by constant innovation is king – could re-thinking what sustainability really means and our role as individuals and professionals as part of ‘the bigger system,’ offer a unique opportunity to grow both our own wellbeing and the success of our businesses?