BUILDING AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION
WHY GO GREEN OR AIM FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS?  SAVE MONEY The experience of businesses that have already adopted environmentally sustainable working practices is that energy efficiency can lead to significant cost savings, which means your organization can become leaner and more efficient.  INCREASED EFFICIENCIES The same technologies that help reduce your carbon footprint can at the same time result in significant efficiency gains. Allowing employees the flexibility to work from home not only reduces the amount of travel they do, thereby cutting carbon emissions, but research shows it also makes employees around 20 per cent more productive  ENHANCE REPUTATION Customers and the public increasingly demand that businesses behave in an environmentally ethical way. Those that fail to meet these expectations risk causing damage to their brand. In turn this can harm a company’s ability to win customers and attract and retain the best employees.
WHY GO GREEN OR AIM FOR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS?  WIN NEW BUSINESS There is growing pressure from society, government and customers for businesses to act in an environmentally responsible way. The attitudes and expectations of consumers are changing rapidly and businesses need to be able to adapt quickly.  INCREASE NET EARNINGS Going green has the potential to increase net earnings by both driving increased revenues and reducing operating expenses. Developing environmentally sustainable products and services can spur new sales to end users and large retailers in a growing consumer sector, which can increase top line revenues. At the same time, internal sustainability initiatives (such as using renewable energy and becoming more energy-efficient) can reduce operating expenses, lowering utility bills or tax liabilities (vis-à-vis government incentives)
IDEA#1 IF THEY COULD… OTHERS CAN! Unilever , reconfigured the plastic bottles for its billion-dollar Suave shampoo brand, saving plastic equivalent to some 15 million bottles a year Let there be less light! That was the conclusion of an energy audit at the Hong Kong headquarters of Star TV , News Corp.'s Asian broadcasting subsidiary, which found that by removing one out of every three fluorescent tube lights about 1,300 in all it would trim its CO 2 emissions by 18,000 pounds a year One initial problem with Staples ' new emphasis on recycled paper: less durable products. The solution? Reinvent paper. The company's hanging file folders now include 50% regenerated cotton (aka "denim"), and its "carbon neutral" notebook paper is 90% bagasse, a sugarcane by-product the company buys from Argentine farmers who would otherwise burn the spent cane, polluting their own communities. Timberland awards its employees who buy hybrids not only with a primo parking spot but also with $3,000 toward the car's purchase. Bank of America has a similar program. Google is one-upping both with a $5,000 incentive.
IDEA#1 IF THEY COULD… OTHERS CAN! At its Manhattan headquarters, JPMorgan Chase is starting renovations at the top on the roof, 53 stories up, where the bank is building what is essentially a giant pan to collect rainwater. The water will be funneled into a 55,000-gallon tank in the basement, filtered, and then piped up for toilet flushing. Coupled with new low-flush urinals and toilets, this system will cut the building's water use and cost by 30%. The corporate restroom isn't fully green without Dyson 's new Airblade hand dryer, which does its job in half the time (12 seconds) and with half the energy (1,400 watts) of conventional dryers. It costs four times as much up front, but the energy savings can pay you back in three years. AMC Theatres is testing the units now Companies everywhere are suddenly clamoring to snag a vice president of sustainability. Or a director of environmental affairs. Someone whose job is to understand the environmental impact of the company and look for ways to turn it inside out. (Why aren't you using your empty roof to generate solar power, anyway?) Ten years ago, the job essentially didn't exist. But in the last two years, it has become common across a startling variety of industries. Starbucks has one. Ford too. Also Airbus , Albertson's , Alcoa , Alaska Airlines , and Anheuser-Busch . Dow Chemical and DuPont have even given the position C-level heft… chief sustainability officer.` Peter Graph Chief Sustainability Officer SAP
IDEA#2 GREEN IT Today companies are trying to improve their daily operations with environmentally friendly strategies and green products. Reducing paper usage, cutting back on energy consumption, and allowing employees to work remotely or telecommute are all ways to do that—and each of these can be achieved by migrating your software and data storage to a cloud, or Internet, based system. In the office or out… using mobile devices instead of desktop computers saves energy and cuts costs. Laptops, net books and smart phones use less energy, are more useful for those on the go, and still can connect to the Internet easily. They encourage use of CRM applications in all departments; this, in turn, will also saves time, money and personnel costs. Outsourcing to the cloud will be a great cost-cutter, because the pay-as-you-go model will allow your organization to choose only the applications needed, instead of having to pay for the entire suite of software. your organization can also eliminate IT personnel, because upgrade and maintenance worries will be shouldered by the cloud computing vendor. Cloud computing will offer employees @ your organization the best way to communicate with sales reps, partners, managers and customers. They can use email, mobile devices, social media, video conferencing, web conferences or chat rooms for communications to all. No one needs to travel to business meetings from long distances to collaborate, which reduces pollution in the environment from transportation vehicles—and reduces time spent traveling that could be better spent working.
This means less waste to end up in landfills. Nor do we need to purchase upgrades; cloud computing platforms are always up-to-date, and updates are implemented automatically, with no downtime. Online collaboration and the use of applications that run in the cloud will eliminate the need to send multiple copies of documents via mail or courier. This reduces paper and other materials, as well as emissions. It also reduces confusion, because there is only ever one version of a document to contend with. Anyone who needs to can access previous versions or edits, but there’s very little need to print anything. Your organization does not need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment we will not fully utilize, such as servers or multiple copies of software for the office. IDEA#2 GREEN IT
IDEA#3 HIRE A CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER TECHNOLOGY – CSO will be generally familiar with the technology of your organization as well as the technology of sustainability (energy, waste, carbon emissions, etc.) and how your organization creates footprint in these areas. MEASUREMENT – CSO will Gather data, establish baseline, benchmark the peers, set goals, and continuously improve, measure, and start the cycle all over again. COMMUNICATION – CSO will educate, persuade, and mobilize resources and inspire your organization employees to action. Communication will be a lever for driving action by creating awareness of financial aspects. However communications should not be the cornerstone of the strategy – if it is all talk and no science, or no action, the initiatives become hollow and tend to fail.
OPERATIONS, STRUCTURE AND CULTURE – CSO will have an understanding of how structure and culture works in order to have the type of impact required to make sustainability a priority for every department and division in your organization, and have to be empowered by Boards, Business Directors, Unit Heads CEOs, CFOs and HR with the right authority and resources to get the job done. SUPPLY CHAIN – CSO will understand the entire supply chain in order to reduce footprint at each stage of design, sourcing, producing and delivering the goods and services of your organization Companies. The aim of CSO will be to make changes in operations, throughout the supply chain, and in the suppliers’ and customers’ behavior. ETHICS – CSO will strive to keep balance among the three Ps of the triple bottom line - profits, people and planet - and pursue these with transparency and for the right reasons. IDEA#3 HIRE A CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
3 2 1 IDEA#4 CONDUCT A SUSTAINABILITY AUDIT IDENTIFICATION OF SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION The first step is to identify what sustainability issues that there are present within your organization. This will span all three sustainability pillars of community, economy and environment. The audit and review process here will assess the extent to which sustainability issues have been comprehensively assessed by the organisation. As with ISO 14001 some sort of significance assessment may also be beneficial. SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND TRENDS Once the sustainability issues have been identified within your organization an appropriate performance indicators can be established. The assessment process will test for these and how relevant they are to the sustainability issues that have been identified. SUSTAINABILITY GOALS, STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT, LINKAGES AND SYSTEMS THINKING Once your organization has identified it’s sustainability issues and selected some performance indicators attention can be directed towards setting goals for sustainability. This will need to take into account stakeholder views and linkages with the wider world. The assessment process here tests for the presence of Groups sustainability goals and it’s understanding of the wider world. 4 VALUES AND COMMUNITY ISSUES Values are crucial in the behaviour of both organisations and individuals. To be of any consequence these have to be real and not just words on paper. Human values for the planet have over time weakened and what we now see is a weaker and impoverished world. Good sustainability values will take your organization towards better decisions. The audit and review process for values tests for the values that are present in your organization. This will commence with an assessment of the ability of your organization to articulate it’s values. This can best be assessed by what top management have to say and the extent to which this feels real. If it does not live in top management it has little or no consequence.
6 VISION AND THE FUTURE Vision is a great driver and it provides the leadership for an organisation that will carry it forward to a new place over time. The audit and review process will test for the presence of a vision for sustainability and the extent to which your organization is able to deliver on the vision. The vision may be included within a policy document. IDEA#4 CONDUCT A SUSTAINABILITY AUDIT 7 GOVERNANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY AUDIT Governance involves the setting of methods and procedures that determine what your organization does in terms of sustainability. Within local authorities the governance process may take the form of an oversight and scrutiny committee. The assessment process will therefore test for the presence of such functions. The presence of a sustainability audit process within an organisation is a crucial indicator of it’s commitment to sustainability. 5 CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY The journey towards sustainability means change and the previous steps provide the basis for the change process. Auditing and review here will test for the change management programmes and the extent to which they are being implemented.