What makes a sustainability strategy (actually) meaningful?

Lessons from executive programs: for every unexpected question there is a more-than-honest answer

Meg Pagani

This week I was invited to contribute to the Politecnico of Milano MIP Executive Program on sustainability and impact, with a session on leadership, power and purpose.

40+ executives, international audience, online. First we'd hear from Riccardo Angelini Rota, Head of Sustainability Plan of Leonardo and then me.

As I wrapped up my 40min session, and was dealing with the dreadful silence that characterises zoom-based talks (I’ll never get used to it), Riccardo asks me:

“You just saw the entire case study of Leonardo’s sustainability and impact strategy. What do you think it’s missing?”

Who doesn’t like to be put on the spot by the Head of the Sustainability Plan of one of the most innovative multinational companies – actually, 8th largest aerospace, security and defence contractor in the world?

I didn’t see it coming. Bain status: “recalculate”.

In the attempt to choose how to answer, I recalled the detailed and comprehensive plan he shared with the group just 1h earlier – and what came out of my mouth was:

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