in this pitch, delivered at 2013 Henken Innovation Challenge, I focus on the need for a recalibration of business as usual, the catalysts for a shift away from Business As Usual, and examples of firm and frameworks making the shift.
Recalibrating Business As UsualMy focus on sustainability does not only include:
Recalibrating Business As UsualTangible byproductsProblems we face are far more personal than “carbon” or climate change
Recalibrating Business As Usual….. are byproducts of systems we built Business Has Traditionally Image Image Assumed an Infinite Capacity Planet • Resources were cheap • Consumption was key Image Image • Waste went “Away”
Recalibrating Business As UsualChallenges only grow in size, frequency, and severity9 billion
Recalibrating Business As UsualShifting to a new model B.A.U. Beyond B.A.U. CSR Sustainability • • primary goal Growth is the Growth is achieved through quality • Models are•heavily subsidized Economic and Business Model are full cost • • Externalities of models are Externalities are someone else’s problemthe firm’s problem • • and accountability are mutually are aligned ResponsibilityResponsibility and Accountabilityindependent
Recalibrating Business As UsualPotential of a new model It’s not just economy vs. environment Image Image Image Urban Planning Economic Development Quality of Life Image Image Image Safety Security Environment
Recalibrating Business As UsualHow severe are the problems? How large are the problems? • Are these anecdotal cases? • Are these problems systemic? • Are they TOO BIG TO FAIL? Are the problems manageable/ solvable? • Can a global recession be averted? • Will Beijing fail to find more water? • Can safe milk be delivered to consumers? Or… Are we going to burn up? • Economic depression? • End of polar bears? • Civil war?
Recalibrating Business As UsualWhen do we “need” to act? What is the timeline? • Act now… with uncertain need or return… • Wait until perhaps it’s too late…. How much can be solved today? How much should I solve in my term?
Moving Beyond Business As UsualWho’s to Blame / Who Should Lead Politicians Business Leaders CitizensHarmonious Society Change Leadership Personal Accountability
Recalibrating Business As UsualHow Big should the Response Be? Is 750 billion enough to save the global economy? What percentage of GDP should be invested in renewable energy? … and how much is saving the polar bears going to cost?
Recalibrating Business As UsualWhen will BAU Change? Image Image Image When The Problems are When Stakeholder Interests When economic models too big to ignore Realign go extinct
Moving Beyond Business As UsualExternal Catalysts: Driving action
Moving Beyond Business As UsualForced to Lead Politicians Business Leaders Citizens
Moving Beyond Business As UsualMeans of Change PUSH: PULL: Government Regulation / Consumer Expectations / Resource availability Citizen Action
Moving Beyond Business As UsualRecalibrating CompaniesStarting from Scratch Some Firms will be sustainable from day 1 Others Will Wait Patagonia Burt’s Bees Bambu HomeLow Hanging Fruit Some Firms will start with a single product Puma HP EsquelGoing the Long Way Some Firms will see new opportunity Wal-Mart Interface Flooring Nike
Moving Beyond Business As UsualRecalibrating Systems: Interface Flooring Goal: To completely eliminate any negative • Established in 1973 impact we may have on the environment by 2020 • Manufacturing of modular carpeting • 900 Million USD in revenue • 3000 employees
Moving Beyond Business As UsualRecalibrating Systems: Patagonia
Moving Beyond Business As UsualKeys to recalibrating Identifying the issue Understanding risk / opportunity Awareness Engagement Aligning mission / vision w/ strategy Aligning stakeholders to mission Scale Capacity Piloting solutions / investments Scale of investment
Moving Beyond Business As UsualRecalibrating Leaders 1) Clear Mission and Vision 2) Understanding of “externalities” and impacts 3) A business plan for change 4) Ability to Manage Time 5) Focus on systems and building 6) Able to engage and activate stakeholders 7) System of monitoring and reporting 8) Commitment to execution
Moving Beyond Business As UsualFinding Success Economic Growth Reduced Footprint
Your OpportunityRichard Brubaker, Collective ResponsibilityMarch 18, 2013
Recalibrating Business As UsualTakeawaysThe problems that are faced are complex, dynamic, and growing:• Economic, environmental, and social issues are growing in size with lower resiliency• Costs of issues is being seen (by some) as too great with expectations of change buildingThe pressure(s) that a firm will face can come from all angles:• Often catalyzed by external issues, but internal pressure rising• Required Internal/ external stakeholders alignmentEconomic conditions are increasing pressure for real (sustained) changed:• Environmental damage has led to new regulations. Regulations that increase costs• Environmental/ social damage have reduced the quality/ quantity of resourcesEconomic models will have to shift:• Proactive firms can edit, influence, and innovate• Reactive firms can only respond, pay more, and hope to keep up
Recalibrating Business As UsualIt’s Time to ChooseThe 21st century is either going to be the most interesting time inhuman history, or it is going to be very bleak, and I dont think we havedecided yet.We havent made the fundamental decisions about whether we aregoing to share the future or fight over it.- William Jefferson Clinton
Thank You!Richard BrubakerFounder, Collective ResponsibilityAdjunct Professor of Sustainability, CEIBSrich@collectiveresponsibility.org@ChinaCSR