Sustainable Operations Need Sustained Support with Bob Alvarez — Insights from our Community

Many organizations aspire to become more environmentally sustainable, but there are so many different aspects of sustainability that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This guest blog post comes from Bob Alvarez, President and COO of Shapiro Metals and a member of our Senior Leader Network.

How can businesses find the best way to integrate sustainability into their own Higher Purpose?

As the COO of Shapiro, a company that offers circular as a service, I’ve seen the impact that businesses can have on the environment. Organizations aspire to become environmentally sustainable, but it can take time to know where to begin. I offer my perspective on how businesses can find the best way to integrate sustainability into their own Higher Purpose.

First, there are the easy things to do, and then there is the rest. It’s relatively straightforward to get a baseline and set a target, but to really make an impact, you need to commit to the hard work that goes beyond infrastructure. This means leadership, resources, inspiration, support, and change management.

The key to making it work is to have a plan for execution. The plan should include a communication strategy, internal campaigns, and a focus on making the process fun, personal, and meaningful.

Second, expect the trade-offs. Your plan may cost more in dollars while saving on labor or increasing productivity. Enter the execution process with an open mind and set early expectations that there will be trade-offs.

Getting started, setting expectations, and establishing targets are the easy things. The hard part is clarifying, inspiring, and engaging your team. Your company has an operating culture, and you may be introducing new expectations into the mix. The team may need clarification about what the real priority is and why they need to change what has been working. These challenges need to be thought out as part of the plan.

Begin with the end in mind.”

Your goal is to make sustainability purposeful, and this requires real work. The process of integrating sustainability into your Higher Purpose is not easy, but the impact that it can have on your company and the world around you is well worth it.

The journey toward sustainability has its challenges as every worthy journey does. It’s an opportunity to make a real impact and to do something meaningful for the future. Begin with the end in mind. Develop a plan for execution. Engage your team. Navigate the hard stuff, and you can make sustainability a part of your company’s Higher Purpose.

As President and COO, Bob is passionate about supporting the team at Shapiro Metals. He delivers his support by guiding strategic initiatives that advance the company’s financial goals and continue to cultivate a culture of transparency, integrity, and partnership across all levels of the organization. If you spend any time at all with Bob, it’s easy to see that he regards the people as the most important and valuable asset at Shapiro. Bob’s vision is that the company will continue to transform its industry well into the future as the team remains focused on living out the company values. In his spare time, Bob enjoys reading, golf, hunting, and fishing.