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RULES FOR 

SUSTAINABILITY
PARTNERSHIPS10
2015 WAS A BREAKTHROUGH
IN POLITICAL AGREEMENTS…
LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT 2016
THE CHALLENGE NOW IS TO
INNOVATE AND IMPLEMENT 

SOLUTIONS…
”WHEN YOU LOOK AT ANY ISSUE,
SUCH AS FOOD OR WATER
SCARCITY, IT IS VERY CLEAR
THAT NO INDIVIDUAL
INSTITUTION, GOVERNMENT O...
”THESE ARE MASSIVE
PROBLEMS OF SCALE. THEY
ARE GOING TO REQUIRE AN
ECOSYSTEM OF THINKERS
AND SOLVERS AND CREATIVE
MINDS.”
...
COMPETITIVE 

INNOVATION
SYSTEMS 

INNOVATION
COLLABORATIVE 

INNOVATION
“COLLABORATION CAN BRING
GREAT RESULTS, FOR EXAMPLE
WE WORK CLOSELY WITH NIKE TO
PIONEER NEW TECHNIQUES FOR
TEXTILE DYEING...
RULES FOR 

SUSTAINABILITY
PARTNERSHIPS10
1. PARTNER WITH 

PURPOSE


Partnerships should make you able to
achieve something you can’t achieve
on your own. Partners...
2. FIND THE
SWEET SPOT


Senior leadership support might give you
a heads start - but unless you find a
sweet spot for the...
3. SET FEW BUT
AMBITIOUS GOALS


Many stakeholders often result in
cluttered goals and reporting. Agree
on a moonshot or a...
LET’S GO ALL-IN!
4. CONTRIBUTE
WITH MORE THAN
MONEY


No partnership can run on money
alone. Only by leaning in you will
harvest the real b...
5. PASSION IS KEY
You can prepare, make strategies and
plans, but in the end it always comes
down to people. A partnership...
MAKE FRIENDS…
..AND HAVE FUN!
6. DEDICATE THE
RIGHT PEOPLE
If a partnerships is strategic, staff it
like it’s strategic - with people from
relevant busi...
7. GET BEYOND
THE USUAL
SUSPECTS
Unconventional partners will bring
new perspectives and spur
innovation. Watch out for th...
8. BE A CATALYST


Some of most effective partnerships
are the ones that map, connect and
embrace existing initiatives - r...
MAKE FRIENDS…
9. BE OPEN FOR
SURPRISES
Even a partnership with few and clear
goal will produce unexpected value
for partners. Be open fo...
10. SHARE THE
LOVE
You can achieve amazing things
together if you are able to step back
and let other people into the
lime...
THANK YOU!


SOFUS MIDTGAARD
+45 30 220 111
sofus@leaderlab.com
10 rules for sustainability partnerships
10 rules for sustainability partnerships
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10 rules for sustainability partnerships

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Presentation of 10 rules for sustainability partnerships, build on years of personal experience, desk-research and best practice, Presentation given at the conference Sustainable Brands in Istanbul April 20, 2017.

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10 rules for sustainability partnerships

  1. 1. RULES FOR 
 SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIPS10
  2. 2. 2015 WAS A BREAKTHROUGH IN POLITICAL AGREEMENTS…
  3. 3. LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT 2016
  4. 4. THE CHALLENGE NOW IS TO INNOVATE AND IMPLEMENT 
 SOLUTIONS…
  5. 5. ”WHEN YOU LOOK AT ANY ISSUE, SUCH AS FOOD OR WATER SCARCITY, IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT NO INDIVIDUAL INSTITUTION, GOVERNMENT OR COMPANY CAN PROVIDE THE SOLUTION.“ PAUL POLMAN, CEO, UNILEVER
  6. 6. ”THESE ARE MASSIVE PROBLEMS OF SCALE. THEY ARE GOING TO REQUIRE AN ECOSYSTEM OF THINKERS AND SOLVERS AND CREATIVE MINDS.” CYRUS WADIA, VP, NIKE
  7. 7. COMPETITIVE 
 INNOVATION SYSTEMS 
 INNOVATION COLLABORATIVE 
 INNOVATION
  8. 8. “COLLABORATION CAN BRING GREAT RESULTS, FOR EXAMPLE WE WORK CLOSELY WITH NIKE TO PIONEER NEW TECHNIQUES FOR TEXTILE DYEING THAT DRAMATICALLY REDUCE THE USE OF WATER, ENERGY AND CHEMICALS." HÅKAN NORDKVIST, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY INNOVATION, IKEA GROUP
  9. 9. RULES FOR 
 SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIPS10
  10. 10. 1. PARTNER WITH 
 PURPOSE 
 Partnerships should make you able to achieve something you can’t achieve on your own. Partnerships should never be the parking lot for difficult CSR-agendas better solved alone.
  11. 11. 2. FIND THE SWEET SPOT 
 Senior leadership support might give you a heads start - but unless you find a sweet spot for the participating managers you will fail. Make sure to find a sweet spot/overlap between core strategic priorities of the partners.
  12. 12. 3. SET FEW BUT AMBITIOUS GOALS 
 Many stakeholders often result in cluttered goals and reporting. Agree on a moonshot or at least set a few but ambitious goals, that will inspire for change.
  13. 13. LET’S GO ALL-IN!
  14. 14. 4. CONTRIBUTE WITH MORE THAN MONEY 
 No partnership can run on money alone. Only by leaning in you will harvest the real benefits of a partnership.
  15. 15. 5. PASSION IS KEY You can prepare, make strategies and plans, but in the end it always comes down to people. A partnership needs champions who would die in a ditch for what the partnership is trying to achieve. 

  16. 16. MAKE FRIENDS…
  17. 17. ..AND HAVE FUN!
  18. 18. 6. DEDICATE THE RIGHT PEOPLE If a partnerships is strategic, staff it like it’s strategic - with people from relevant business units - not just the CSR department!
  19. 19. 7. GET BEYOND THE USUAL SUSPECTS Unconventional partners will bring new perspectives and spur innovation. Watch out for the usual suspects when forming partnerships.
  20. 20. 8. BE A CATALYST 
 Some of most effective partnerships are the ones that map, connect and embrace existing initiatives - rather than conquer them. This is especially true when it comes to systemic challenges.
  21. 21. MAKE FRIENDS…
  22. 22. 9. BE OPEN FOR SURPRISES Even a partnership with few and clear goal will produce unexpected value for partners. Be open for surprises and calibrate your measures of success.
  23. 23. 10. SHARE THE LOVE You can achieve amazing things together if you are able to step back and let other people into the limelight.
  24. 24. THANK YOU! 
 SOFUS MIDTGAARD +45 30 220 111 sofus@leaderlab.com

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