The Sustainability Imperative
The normal rules of business don’t stop when it comes to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Pragmatic solutions still matter. So does ROI. That’s why we make sure that your strategy, operations and customer value proposition don’t simply address sustainability concerns but maximize the opportunities they present. From efficiency gains to differentiated product offerings, a greater focus on sustainability can not only help address an increasingly urgent situation but inspire and propel changes that generate significant long-term value.
Our approach ensures that sustainability is embedded in your core strategy and strengthens your business. We’ll help you focus on the actions that will endure and produce positive and valuable results across a full spectrum of critical sustainability issues, from climate change and green workplace to the development of sustainable cities and participation in ESG investing.
We achieve our greatest societal impact in collaboration with our clients. By maximizing the impact of the cooperative efforts, we accomplish far more than we ever could alone. Partnership is at the heart of our social impact approach, and it is key to tackling complex social and environmental challenges. We seek to maximize our own social impact by enriching and expanding our partnerships, fostering system-level coalitions, and establishing social impact and sustainability as core competencies that are woven into business strategies and thus yield quantifiable returns.
Helping businesses, investors, and governments capture opportunities, transform operations, manage risk, and drive growth in an orderly transition to a sustainable economy.
Theory of Change
System Change for Sustainability
Climate change, poverty, malnutrition, gender based violence: the world faces these complex challenges because our core systems are not working towards sustainable goals. Shifting these systems is a task beyond any one business, government, NGO or individual. It needs people to work together, to pool skills and resources on a global scale, and to evolve regenerative solutions that work for people, and for the living systems we rely on.
Learning how to do this is key. We believe that creating the change we want to see in the world will require a growing number of people to think and act more systemically. So we see system change as both an outcome and a process.
System change as outcome and process
Our definition of system change as outcome would be:
"System change is the emergence of a new pattern of organisation or system structure. That pattern being the physical structure, the flows and relationships or the mindsets or paradigms of a system, it is also a pattern that results in new goals of the system." (Birney, 2015)
System change processes recognise the world is complex and interconnected, and that change is non-linear and happens at multiple levels over multiple time scales.
Our system change theory
We do not think there is one particular methodology or approach that is the “right” way to do this work. This is why we are interested in, firstly, convening accomplished practitioners to learn together; and secondly, supporting people to navigate this emerging field of system change, developing the capabilities that will be suitable to them in their specific context, rather than “teaching” them how to “do” system change.
We draw from numerous fields and disciplines that we see coming together in the emerging field of system change. These fields set out their own processes, language and ways of knowing and in DEVA we seek to hold and facilitate these multiple lenses.
A system is a configuration of parts connected by a web of relationships towards a purpose. It can be an ecosystem, such as the marine environment, the food system or socially created systems such as education and health. Systems can be small, such as organisations, or large, such as the whole economy.
A systems approach shifts the focus from individual parts to how the parts are organised, recognising that interactions of the parts are not static and constant but dynamic and fluid.
Systemic change is where relationships between different aspects of the system have changed towards new outcomes and goals. And it’s driven by transformational, not incremental change.
How We Can Help
In this time of accelerating systematic change, customers, employees, and investors increasingly demand that organizations act in socially aware and sustainable ways and demonstrate that they are doing so. It is necessary, strategic, and profitable for organizations to have a positive social impact. We help organizations to plan, implement, assess, and communicate their social impact and sustainability initiatives.