C10.7.7.1 How Good is your Organisation’s Sustainability Culture?


Consider the questions below… (again, safety based, but they apply perfectly well to sustainability)…


Management Commitment

  • Where is safety perceived to be in management’s priorities (Senior/middle/1st line)?
  • How do they show this?
  • How often are they seen in the workplace?
  • Do they talk about safety when in the workplace and is this visible to the workforce?
  • Do they ‘walk the talk’?
  • Do they deal quickly and effectively with safety issues raised?
  • What balance do their actions show between safety and production?
  • Are management trusted over safety?



  • Is there effective two-way communication about safety?
  • How often are safety issues discussed :What is communicated about the safety programme of the company?
    • With line manager/subordinate?
    • With colleagues?
  • How open are people about safety?


Employee Involvement

  • How are people (all levels, especially operators) involved in safety?
  • How often are individual employees asked for their input on safety issues?
  • How often do operators report unsafe conditions or near misses etc?
  • Is there active, structured operator involvement e.g. workshops, projects, safety circles?
  • Is there a continuous improvement / total quality approach?
  • Whose responsibility is safety regarded to be?
  • Is there genuine cooperation over safety – a joint effort between all in the company?


Training and Information

  • Do employees feel confident that they have all the training that they need?
  • How accurate are employees’ perceptions of hazards and risks?
  • How effective is safety training in meeting needs (including managers!)?
  • How are needs identified?
  • How easily available is safety information?



  • Do managers give feedback on safety performance (& how)?
  • Are they likely to notice unsafe acts?
  • Do managers (all levels – S/M/1st) always confront unsafe acts?
  • How do they deal with them?
  • Do employees feel they can report unsafe acts?
  • How is discipline applied to safety?
  • What do people believe are the expectations of managers?
  • Do people feel that this is a good place to work (why/why not)?
  • Are they proud of their company?


Compliance with Procedures

  • What are written procedures used for?
  • What decides whether a particular task will be captured in a written procedure?
  • Are they read?
  • Are they helpful?
  • What other rules are there?
  • Are there too many procedures and rules?
  • How well are people trained in them?
  • Are they audited effectively?
  • Are they written by users?
  • Are they linked to risks?


Learning Organisation

  • Does the company really learn from accident history, incident reporting etc?
  • Do employees feel confident in reporting incidents or unsafe conditions?
  • Do they report them?
  • Do reports get acted upon?
  • Do they get feedback?

Source: HSE, HSE Leaflet ‘Common Topics, Safety Culture’.


…How good is your organisation’s sustainability culture?


Take a few minutes to consider what you could do to help improve it…