Communicating Sustainability

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Communicating sustainability examines the business drivers for sustainability. It looks at the strategic and tactical approaches for communicating organisational sustainability to external audiences.

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Communicating Sustainability

  1. 1. Communicating Sustainability Gabriel Wong Max Australia 12 February 2009
  2. 2. Key Issues • The Rise of Environmentalism • Sustainability as a Business Issue • Drivers of sustainability • Communicating sustainability: Strategic to tactical • Five tough questions • Useful references
  3. 3. The Rise of Environmentalism
  4. 4. The Rise of Environmentalism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JZey9GJQ P0
  5. 5. Sustainability • Managing and balancing the economic, social and environmental impacts of a corporation’s activities Source: Dreo (2006)
  6. 6. Sustainability as a Business Issue • Reputation and Competitiveness • Attracting investment • Attracting talent • Managing risks • License to operate • Cost reduction • Globalisation
  7. 7. Sustainability as a Business Issue Civil Society Public Mandatory Media Environment Investors Government Business Voluntary
  8. 8. Drivers of Sustainability International covenants – Basel Public Reporting Indices - Carbon Disclosure Convention, Kyoto Protocol Project, Dow Jones Sustainability Index Legislation and planning instruments – NGOs – WWF, Greenpeace, PlanetArk (Close ACCC, EPBC Act, Hazardous Waste Act, the Loop), Total Environment Centre National Packaging Covenant, state based EA instruments National reporting frameworks - NGERS / Industry associations – AIIA (Byteback), Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Australian Industry Group, Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (Product Stewardship Australia) ASX Corporate Governance Principle 7: Recognise and manage risks
  9. 9. Sustainability as a Business Issue • Sustainable development as a philosophy throughout the business • Intel – Design for the Environment • Fuji Xerox – Extended Producer Responsibility • Dell – Sustainability Lifecycle • Green for product marketing • TrickleStar
  10. 10. Sustainability as a Business Issue Source: EPA Victoria
  11. 11. Dell
  12. 12. Intel
  13. 13. SAP
  14. 14. Carbon Footprint
  15. 15. I’m yet to receive an answer from anyone, anywhere regarding how green it is for stuff to be hauled out of pits and mines all over the world, carried by sea, shuttled between processing plants and factories, assembled into computers and other gadgetry using electricity galore, then packed away in boxes that are tossed away without anybody even pausing to admire the graphic art printed on them. Simon Sharwood
  16. 16. Communicating Sustainability • Strategic • Global / Local Commitment • Environmental Policy • Impacts, Issues and Targets • Stakeholders • Data Collection • Standards and Assurance • Reporting • Employee Education • Engagement with Stakeholders
  17. 17. Communicating Sustainability • Tactical • Standards based (Energy Star, energyrating.gov.au) • Scientific evidence (energy, pollution, waste) • Trade Practices Act • Affiliation / endorsement (GECA) • Event based approach
  18. 18. Communicating Sustainability • Green Marketing and Trade Practices Act • Environmental sustainability • Recycling • Energy and water efficiency • Impact on biodiversity
  19. 19. Communicating Sustainability • Misleading through silence • “Made from recycled material” Which part is recycled / how much of the content is recycled • Misleading through predictions • “Product made entirely from recycled materials by 2011” • Misleading through subjectivity • “Produced completely from clean energy”
  20. 20. Communicating Sustainability • Unauthorised use of trademarks • Approval from licensing boards / government • Performance / benefits based
  21. 21. Communicating Sustainability Do Don’t • Be honest • Profit / exploit “green” • Clear language • Use jargon • Evidence based • Misrepresent • Prepared to change • Send conflicting messages • Educate • Engage with stakeholders • Share information
  22. 22. Five Tough Questions • Sustainability in the current economic climate • How to deal with greenwashing • What makes a good green IT story • How to counsel bad green ideas / clients • Case Studies: Good, bad and in between
  23. 23. Useful References • Sustainability Reports • Fuji Xerox Australia • Insurance Australia Group • AGL • Origin Energy • ANZ Bank
  24. 24. Useful References Trade Practices Act • Green Marketing and the Trade Practices Act Reporting Initiatives • Carbon Disclosure Project • Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting and Corporate Responsibility • Corporate responsibility: Managing risk and creating value, Parliamentary Joint Committee • The Social Reponsibility of Corporations, CAMAC • Climate Change and the ASX100, Citigroup • State of Sustainability Reporting in Australia NGO Campaigns • Gartner and WWF Assessment of Low Carbon and Environmental Leadership (Nov 2008) • Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (April 2007)
  25. 25. Useful References Indexes • Corporate Responsibility Index • Dow Jones Sustainability Index • Reputex Sustainability Index Series • FTSE4Good Index Series Thought Leadership Opportunities -- e.g. committees, roundtables, speaking opportunities, etc. • Green Capital • St James Ethics Centre • Greenhouse Challenge • Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change • Centre for Sustainability Leadership • World Business Council for Sustainable Development - Australia
  26. 26. Useful References Recycling Schemes / Alliances • Product Stewarship Australia • Byteback Victoria • Mobilemuster • Close the Loop • Project Paperless • Planet Ark Standards • Energy Star • Energy Rating – Federal and State Governments • Good Environmental Choice Australia – ecolabelling scheme
  27. 27. Useful References Publications • ecoVoice • WME • Sustainability Matters • ReNew • Environment Business • Sustainable Life Media

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