How Are We Doing? An Environmental Stewardship Survey of BAM Practitioners
Environmental stewardship is a critical outcome, or ‘bottom line’, of business. However, organisations and companies face challenges in managing their environmental systems and creating a positive environmental impact. This report aims to understand the challenges, both technical and institutional, faced by business as mission (BAM) entities in particular. It explores the implications for environmental stewardship practices and the successful implementation of Environmental Management Systems.
The BAM Global Creation Care Consultation Group is mandated to serve the Kingdom-minded business community with practical guidance on environmental stewardship. In this report, we discuss the challenges and successes experienced by BAM organisations in this area. In turn, we propose realistic, measurable and attainable goals for increasing the level of environmental stewardship—both in individual BAM companies and the BAM movement as a whole—and identify some critical resources and support mechanisms required to do so.
BAM practitioners were polled about their environmental practices and the challenges they face through two separate survey processes. Respondents came from a wide geographical area and a wide variety of business sectors. The results from both surveys provided the raw materials for this report and will help drive the ongoing work of developing environmental management resources for the BAM community.
The survey findings indicate a profound shift in the attitude of BAM practitioners to environmental stewardship and creation care in the last decade. They revealed that environmental stewardship was important to respondents both personally and in their business, with a median score of 8 out of 10 for both aspects. While this is encouraging, an outstanding challenge is the effective implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS). While many BAM practitioners desired to initiate an EMS, there was a reported lack of knowledge on how to begin.
A SWOT analysis of survey responses was completed to give a clearer picture of the state of engagement on environmental stewardship within the BAM community. From that work, a TOWS analysis was developed to explore potential solutions and responses.
Recommendations and action plans for consideration by the BAM community are proposed. These include practical suggestions for BAM practitioners aiming to become better environmental managers and stewards through their companies. There are also recommendations for further resource and network development within the broader business as mission ecosystem.
We reconfirm that a successful Environmental Management System, and the resulting positive environmental impact, is best achieved when one interconnects all four bottom lines of BAM. Consideration of the environmental bottom line cannot be divorced from the financial, social, or spiritual bottom lines.
BAM and Creation Care Part 1