“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~ Jack Welch
Companies in all sectors need to prepare themselves for a world where raw materials may be in short supply. Within the next five years, resources will be affected and their shortages will impact industries and products delayed to the marketplace. Most significant will be shortage of food and water. These are only examples, but assuming continued population growth and demand for products, the shortages will become much larger and more critical as we move closer to 2050. The future scenarios are topics of repeated studies and reports that provide insight how business “as usual” will need to adapt. Business models that embrace Sustainability will be better prepared and better positioned to survive major disruptions in resources.
“More and more companies are embracing Sustainability as a cornerstone in their strategy to build competitive advantage. There is clearly strategic thinking going on at the highest level in business and government.”
At the same time, Haugland warns that “there is still a large number of companies that are not acting decisively on Sustainability issues due to the lack of knowledge and organizational capabilities…and ultimately this will lead to winners and losers. Put simply, Sustainability matters to business and those who take it seriously and use it as a source for innovation will prosper in the years ahead.”
Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer of SAP. Graf runs the Sustainability business at SAP that creates products to help companies become more Sustainability. He laid out four stages that most companies move through as they use Sustainability principles as a lens to better understand operations and improve efficiency and productivity.
- First, companies become more aware of how they are using resources like carbon, water, electricity in order to run their businesses in compliance with regulations.
- Second, companies use the increased awareness to optimize their processes, reaping financial benefits through cost savings and increased productivity.
- Third, companies leverage Sustainability to differentiate their offerings to the market.
- Fourth, companies weave Sustainability into their overall corporate strategy, as opposed to simply trumpeting a separate “Sustainability strategy.”
 KMPG; Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in a changing world; KPMG International; 2012
 DNV’s Chief Operating Officer Bjørn K. Haugland underlines growing interest in sustainability as business case.
 Brewer, Stuart; COO beat sustainability drum; DNV (Det Norske Veritas); http://www.dnv.com; 29 Oct 2010; Retrieved: 6 Aug 2013
 Woods, Dan; “Four Steps to Improving Profits through Sustainability”, Interview of Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP; Forbes: CIO Network: Mar. 31 2011; Retrieved 31 March 2011
This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com