Where does the issue fall within your current Sustainability Strategy? Is it aligned with current sustainability and CSR priorities and principles? If your organization does not have a sustainability strategy, use the Setting Sustainability Priorities module to develop one.
Is the practice or policy being requested consistent with sustainability commitments, business objectives and company values? At the highest level, does the request fall within one of the Social, Economic or Environmental dimensions you have prioritized?
If no, (does not align or is out of scope of current priorities on the strategy or priority, policy or practice area), review potential tradeoffs (use the Evaluating Sustainability Tradeoffs module for guidance) and implications of adopting to confirm or potentially change position to determine if a change in practice or policy is warranted.
Questions to consider:
In all likelihood, you are not the first company to be pressured on the issue. It is highly likely that information exists that can help you evaluate the impact of the request on your current sustainability priorities. Many sustainability issues have been well researched with existing data that can inform your evaluation. See the Resources section for information sources. If you are having trouble finding information, CFI can help connect you to organizations that have evaluated the issue in question.
Don’t kill the message because you may not like the messenger. Just because you initially may not see common ground with a person or group, consider the issue being raised in an objective way. Perhaps the ask is far beyond what you could reasonably commit to, but is there an aspect of the request that can be addressed or might align with your overall strategy? Looking for scenarios that are win-win for both parties can lead to a more positive outcome even if it is less than full adoption of their position.