WHAT THIS INVOLVES
“Sustainability challenges” tend to be systemic and have the potential to undermine even the most prosperous organisations. Gone are the days when the public sector are left to provide basic services while private companies seek only to maximise profit. Today’s challenges need to be resolved by the public and private sectors working together.
Collaboration enables a more efficient use of resources, enables broader ownership of solutions and ultimately drives greater impact.
It makes business sense. Learning from others, sharing resources and bringing diverse thinkers together are but a few of the benefits of collaboration.
One of The Moss Group’s greatest passions is facilitating disparate groups of stakeholders to address our most challenging sustainability issues. By encouraging cooperation among organisations, we aim to strengthen the social and environmental systems in which they operate.
The Moss Group is a catalyst for collaboration. We shift ways of thinking about non-competitive issues.
Our approach differs from project to project. However, a typical process involves the following:
We have had a great deal of experience facilitating multi-stakeholder sessions. This has ranged from:
- Bringing together government and industry players from across a value chain, as was the case in the cotton industry, to
- Bringing together various industry bodies and individual companies, as was the case in the wine industry, to
- Bringing together organisations within a single sector as is the case with the retail sector.
One of our longest standing collaborative engagements is with the Retail sector. Nicky van Hille, Director of TMG established the Sustainable Retailer Forum (SRF) in 2013. It is an body that serves to bring the top retailers in SA together to work on addressing systemic social and environmental sustainability issues. Its purpose is:
- For Sustainability Practitioners within the various retailers to learn from one another and to share relevant (non-competitive) knowledge and experiences around issues of mutual concern
- For relevant sustainability-related parties to share their knowledge and experiences with retailers and to solicit retailers’ input into their particular initiatives (e.g. sustainable sourcing, water, clean energy etc.)
- To identify and initiate collaborative initiatives to address critical sustainability issues where collaborative engagement will have a far greater impact than individual firms working alone and where competitive considerations are not relevant / of concern (e.g. packaging waste)
In the Field…
The need for collaboration in the waste space has always been obvious to us. The issues in this area are significant and extremely complex and involve many players across the value chain. Furthermore, in order to have any real impact, solutions need to be supported by several sizable players.
The four retailers that participated in the Collaborative Packaging Waste Initiative (CPWI) also saw the value of collaborating on the issue of packaging waste. This project was a momentous one where Pick n Pay, The Clicks Group, The SPAR Group and Woolworths truly worked together to begin tackling the challenges of packaging waste in our country.
Think of how much effective what you did would be if other people were doing the same thing? What your impact could potentially be? How your time and resources could be optimised and better leveraged? This is the power of scale and collective action. On non-competitive issues that impact sustainable development, it just makes sense.
If you see an opportunity for collaboration, we are the people to help facilitate the conversation and the action that will no doubt follow.