Fairmount Minerals Summit on Sustainable Development
Posted 9.1.05This past spring, a collaborative partnership between Fairmount Minerals and The Weatherhead School of Management was created to design a process to help Fairmount Minerals' employees establish a deep commitment to sustainable development.
Fairmount Minerals, headquartered in Chardon, Ohio, is one of the largest producers of industrial sand in the United States. The company places great emphasis on making sustainable development -- a business approach to creating long-term stakeholder value by embracing opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments -- part of everything they do, from idea generation and development to measurement and execution.
To help them reach this goal, Weatherhead Executive MBA graduates Chuck Fowler, Fairmount CEO and Jenniffer Deckard, Fairmount CFO approached the Weatherhead School to design a process to engage all employees in making a deep commitment to this cause. Working with Weatherhead's Custom Program staff and Business as an Agent of World Benefit founder and Weatherhead faculty advisor Dr. David Cooperrider, it readily became clear that the Appreciative Inquiry summit method could make this happen. This unique approach, co-created by Dr. Cooperrider, builds on an organization’s core strengths to develop a shared vision; in Fairmount's case, the company's shared vision is focused on becoming a sustainable company.
For three days at the end of August, more than 200 key company stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities and vendors, came together in Chicago for the summit. The outcome was 11 concrete projects that the company is committed to carrying out to work towards its sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals.