How Companies Are BUYING Sustainability

Long-term sustainable growth is important to building a successful company. PARTLY 3 of her four-part series “Growing a Green Corporation: Meeting the Next Great Disruptive Challenge of the 21st Century” Brandi McManus talks about different strategies for investing in sustainability. Are Part 1 and Part 2 of her series Here.

By you now are convinced of the business enterprise value in becoming environmentally friendly, or building environmental sustainability into the business. Precisely what is “sustainability” and exactly how much will it cost? To embrace lasting development environmentally, it isn’t important that you turn into a tree-hugging hippie, nor is it vital to adopt a “principles before profits” mentality. But it is important to simply accept the serious impact of the environment on your business. To create a business case for building a sustainable corporation, you must first ask some hard questions about what you do and what you are willing to do.

1. Perhaps you have completed the fundamentals: recycling programs and eliminating Styrofoam mugs? 2. Is your industry or company government regulated to make changes in your facilities or operations? 3. Do you have high brand publicity that would lead shareholders or customers to question your sustainability plan? 4. What investment (if any) are you willing to make to be environmentally accountable? The following shape can help you place your business in a category of investment ranging from Level 1 to 4, or Shades of Green.

  • Spend less on fundraising
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  • Global presence, with wide product features and industry and country coverage
  • Describe an moral decision you had to make
  • The account can be moved from one post office to another

This is the most basic level of sustainability. Here, your ethics or morals should show you to do the right thing and create a proactive approach to sustainability. At this level, employees are environmentally aware, empowered, and inspired. They actively seek to take part in recycling programs or internal energy savings program. Each office may be positively aiming to cut on Styrofoam coffee mugs by attracting mugs back. These industries could be any business with offices or manufacturing with employees thinking about the environment. Companies in highly competitive price-based industries may aim for Level 1 as they would be hard pressed to begin initiatives that add cost.

This level can also be described as risk mitigation. Basic energy reduction projects and compliance with environmental regulations can keep companies on the good aspect of consumers, the national authorities and watchful non-governmental organizations. In an experiment at its Swiss headquarters, Dow Europe encouraged employees to get rid of mailing lists and acquire receipts for memos indicating if a participant wished to continue receiving the info. This resulted in a 30 % reduction in office paper flow in six weeks.

Dow also estimated an increase in labor efficiency because people could focus on only what they really had a need to read. 2.8 million and at least 220 acres of trees and shrubs annually. According to Amy Green in “Green Business: A Five-part Model for Creating an Environmentally Responsible Company” (2006), this cost savings came from using a stronger, but more opaque paper, and designing product packaging more thoughtfully. Interface Corporation, a respected maker for materials for commercial interiors, applied a system for carpet production in Shanghai that required a liquid to be circulated through a typical pumping loop.

Before construction started, an engineer realized that two very easy design changes would cut the power requirement from 95 hp to 7 — a 92 percent reduction. The redesigned system cost a lower amount to build, included no new technology, and worked well in all aspects better. With a simple concentrate on sustainability, Interface reduced costs and risk. Such simple actions require little to no investment but can serve to motivate employees, increase productivity and reduce expenses.