Sustainability, Jones said, is the right thing to do. From a social perspective, from an environmental perspective and from a business perspective.
But sustainability, he said, isn't about your company.
"I remind my team of this all the time," Jones said, "because, you know, we do want to go out and talk about the great things that we do. Every organization wants to do that, you know, talk about: 'Hey this is what we have done, what we did.'"
And while there is nothing wrong with being proud of the strides your company has made or the success you are continuing to see, the focus of the sustainability work can't be on those laurels. Sustainability, Jones said, is a story continually unfolding. And it's a story that should be told—with the proper perspective.
For that perspective, Jones pointed to a quote from Shane Meeker, an author and corporate historian whose career includes 25 years with Procter & Gamble. "A good sustainability story is like a movie," Meeker wrote in his book titled Story Mythos. "There's a hero trying to get over an obstacle to reach a treasure, but as a company and an individual, you must realize that you are not the hero."
"When I first read this," Jones said, "I thought, 'Oh, this is impactful.' … It's not about you, it's about your hero.
"Who's the hero? Who is really going to benefit from the advances we make as an industry and the advances we make in our individual companies?
"Again, as I said earlier, we know we have to make money. We know we have to do that because we will not survive if we don't make money. But as we think about the big challenges we are trying to solve for, it is about: 'Man, who are we solving it for?"
That question has many answers. Every company has a responsibility to do right by its shareholders, its employees and the communities it is in. But when it comes to sustainability plans and goals, the focus has to be those individuals who are most impacted by the big changes your company is making.
"We started to really think about the stakeholders and that value spectrum and who the heroes are that we are really trying to impact," Jones said. "As you think about your companies and how you want to do that, I think you really have to look at that value spectrum and where you have those impacts."