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Sustainability, what it is, and why it really matters.


Why is sustainability important?


We live in an increasingly brand-conscious global community. Ask any Millennial, born between 1981 and 1996, who today, according to Forbes, comprise the largest sector of the world’s population. Socially conscious, technology-driven, well-educated and financially savvy, they are keenly committed to supporting responsible environmental, social and governance policies. Millennials are prioritising these values by investing in brands they admire while choosing to work for and interact with like-minded organisations that are demonstrating the same sustainable practices.



The Paris Agreement


The Paris Agreement, of which South Africa has been a signatory since 1 November 2016, is a legally binding international treaty, with a clearly defined and regulated shift towards a net-zero emissions world. The agreement requires that all nations:


  • Substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050) and significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

  • Assess and report the collective progress towards achieving the long-term goals of the agreement;

  • Provide financing to developing countries to mitigate climate change and limit impact.





ESG vs Sustainability - what’s the difference?


Subtle, yet important nuances differentiate between the two. The Corporate Governance Institute shares the following insights:


“ESG is a set of specific criteria used to evaluate a company’s performance and behaviour in three key areas: environmental, social, and governance. 


Sustainability is the long-term viability of a company’s operations, taking into account its environmental, social, and economic impacts.” 


Sustainability encompasses environmental, social, and economic dimensions, while ESG is a structured framework for evaluation and reporting.


As global traction for sustainable practices rises in South Africa, investors are looking for sustainable long-term returns by prioritising investment into compliant, regulated and transparent organisations.



Who we are and how we approach sustainability


Kaleidoscope SA is a leader in the agile and organisation design consulting space. Using a unique blended approach to organisation design with service design thinking, we create curated solutions to help an organisation transform into a New Way of Work, by promoting a sustainable organisation built with a primary focus on the end-user, the customer. 


We achieve this by using and implementing:

  • Sustainable technology

  • Sustainable leadership

  • Sustainable strategy 

  • Sustainable performance and

  • Sustainable analytics


Our expertise includes the financial services sector, medical health industry, real estate and more. We benchmark best practices, both locally and internationally, to help organisations think differently about themselves and create initiatives that build capabilities in the larger context. 


Paton Raman, Service Designer at Kaleidoscope quotes colleague, Betty Hardcastle’s analogy of this: 


“Like a kaleidoscope, a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass, whose reflections produce changing patterns when the tube is rotated, we use our Kaleidoscope Toolkit to collect an organisation’s fragments and piece them together to reveal a different picture that best fits its performance environment.”

The way organisations work is changing


The way organisations work is changing. As a result, organisations are compelled to change their ways of working by becoming more customer-centric to deliver sustainable experiences that wholly and responsibly meet consumers’ values. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many organisations in various industries. Here are a few examples of how the following sectors we are working with are taking action:


Awareness is one thing - credible action quite another


  • Financial services We have pioneered sustainable work practices by implementing operational strategies that minimise resource waste and optimise efficiency. This eco-conscious approach accelerates processes, reduces environmental impact and drives long-term sustainability.


  • Medical health The technology that we have developed is implemented in healthcare facilities enabling them to go digital. Not only does this mean they reduce their paper usage (Environmental) but they improve operations, patient care (Social) and accurate data through billing reports (Governance). Read more


  • Utilising Design Thinking We create low-fidelity, low-cost prototypes to test and find solutions ahead of costly investment into time, resources and tech solutions. Our Kaleidoscope toolkit is ideally suited to building small training pilots and resolving the obstacles before implementation.



The role of sustainable technology


Emerging new AI technologies like ChatGPT and others like Miro, and Figma take the heavy lifting out of mundane tasks, improve communication and increase collaboration to free up valuable time to shift focus and build resilience.


What role do South African consumers play?


Ask any South African about the devastating floods and landslides in Kwa-Zulu-Natal or their experience with recent record heat waves this summer coupled with heavy storms and hail the size of golf balls in Gauteng. 


“In the last three years,” says Paton, “insurance companies have paid out an estimated 20% increase in climate-related claims in South Africa alone. So, South African consumers are acutely aware of these environmental, social and governance challenges. As end-users, they recognise the power resting in their purchasing decisions. They know they can impact greater outcomes for the good of our environment, planet, society, governance and ultimately, for all.”


Kaleidoscope | Performance Perspectives


The future of work is here. We work with organisations to change and shape a new and better way of working. We work with you to create a tailored solution fit for purpose.


Let’s collaborate.


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