This thought provoking and timely article describes how Sony has set an important and challenging goal for itself: “zero environmental footprint by 2050.” While daunting and uncertain, Sony’s operation “Road to Zero” (maybe the first of its kind) explicitly embraces the need for humans to reduce our environmental impact, and goes the important next step of defining how they are going to take on this immense task of changing every aspect of Sony’s operations to reduce environmental impact.
As the author states, “you get the sense that executives have clearly thought this through. They seem to realize that a big goal, just hanging out there on its own, would be far too daunting, nebulous, and not very actionable.” So, they have developed a plan to integrate this huge overarching goal into the very fabric of their corporate being:
1. They set a huge, transformative, visionary goal they WANT to accomplish
2. They broke the goal into several strategic pieces, consistent with the operational oganization
3. For each piece, they outlined how their goal of zero could be achieved and realized
4. They defined specific strategies within each area
5. They set a short term deadline of 2015 to create some urgency and to provide an initial interim status check
6. They then define specific actionable items within the 2015 timeframe that are consistent with the 2050 goal of zero
Whether Sony succeeds is yet to be seen. At least, finally, a significant corporation has taken the first step. Now it’s time for others to follow, to learn, and to lead.