Social and environmental challenges for companies

Tuesday, October 26th marked the second collective workshop of the 2021 cohort of the Parcours Developpement Durable Montréal. Still held at the Monville Hotel in downtown Montreal in a mixed format – online and in person – this training day was an opportunity for participants to address numerous debates and questions regarding the commitment of a company’s stakeholders, responsible communication, shared governance and the social and environmental impact of an organisation.

In this blog, we offer you a retrospective of this event and we will cover the topics that have been the subject of enriching discussions between the participating companies and our distinguished guest speakers.

Stakeholder engagement, when values collide

Among the issues that concern companies in recent years, stakeholder engagement is certainly one of the most deeply rooted in the daily life of an organisation, since it is necessary to have a good understanding of all the people and therefore all the stakeholders who participate in the life of a company, in order to see whether the expectations and values of each are aligned with those of the organisation.

Moderated by Marie Rousseau (mediator and expert in social and environmental performance), the panel gave rise to many constructive discussions on the impact of stakeholders on a company. Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the stakeholder identification process – the écoprocessus method – in order to get to know them better and understand the issues that concern them.

The social and environmental impact, an inevitable challenge

Social and environmental impact was also discussed during a panel moderated by Christian Belair (co-founder of Credo). Indeed, nowadays, in addition to the many issues that a company has to face, giving particular importance and increased attention to the impact that its activities have on society and the environment appears to be essential in order to maintain trust with the public and business partners. It is, in fact, important to orient the organisation towards sustainable development matters and the good business practices it underpins.

During this panel, participants had the opportunity to discuss the role of the company within its immediate environment (community, society) and its business environment, in order to measure and minimise the negative impacts of its activities and to know how to communicate on the issues and questions at the heart of their community. As a result, the transmission of information with the aim of making a positive contribution to society is very well perceived by the population and it is certainly this type of initiative that will make it possible to judge the positive or negative social impact that an organisation has.

Employee engagement and shared governance in the context of labour shortages

The third major issue discussed during this second day of training was employee engagement and shared governance, in a panel that was moderated by Jean-François Bonnes (panelist and business coaching specialist). Participants had the opportunity to understand the importance of corporate governance based on communication at all levels, giving weight to the opinion of employees and allowing them to express an opinion on the major issues facing their company. Taking everyone’s opinion into account and creating shared governance at all levels of the organisation will then create a positive dynamic within the company, in addition to improving the performance of employees and the trust they have in their leaders.

Responsible communication: making language authentic

Finally, another essential aspect of sustainable development and good business practices is certainly responsible communication, which was the subject of a conference led by the team from our partners QUiNTUS. After a detailed presentation of what responsible communication is and what is at stake, the discussions focused on the importance of communicating in an ethical manner from a societal point of view and respecting the values advocated by sustainable development, with the emphasis on transmitting a clear and unambiguous message. The personality of the brand must also be reflected in any communication in order to ensure consistency and to be in line with the initial values of the company.

It was a rich training day! We would like to thank all the speakers and participants of our 2021 cohort. We look forward to seeing you at our future events.

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