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“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
~ Stephen Covey
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Decisions, decisions, decisions – and they don’t stop with Sustainability. In fact, they place executives and executive decisions on the carpet each time they make financial corporate decisions. Although the complexity of the enterprise can be simplified, decision-making that considers more than financial consequences can put social and environmental levels in a tug of war – moving away from a financial centric decision to a Sustainability decision that reflects a holistic perspective.

Most of today’s executives were indoctrinated under the economic doctrine of Dr. Milton Friedman. Friedman, who has argued that the primary responsibility of business is to make a profit for its owners, albeit while complying with the law. According to this view, the self-interested actions of millions of participants in free markets will, from a utilitarian perspective, lead to positive outcomes for society. If the operation of the free market cannot solve a social problem, it becomes the responsibility of government, not business, to address the issue.[1]

Friedman also argued against CSR. He believed that management is to make as much money as possible within the limits of the law and ethical customs. He argued that the primary responsibility of business is to make a profit for its owners, albeit while complying with the law. According to Friedman, an agency theory perspective implies that CSR was a misuse of corporate resources that would be better spent on valued-added internal projects or returned to shareholders. It also suggested that CSR was an executive perk, in the sense that managers use CSR to advance their careers or other personal agendas[2]. If the operation of the free market cannot solve a social problem, it becomes the responsibility of government, not business, to address the issue[3].

So why would any executive or owner want to take a journey that could be more complex, filled with harder decisions, juggle the tensions between stakeholders and shareholders and for what? I think Ray Anderson said it best; “And I have not mentioned the value of a tree and removing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere, sequestering carbon, and producing oxygen for us to breathe, nor the songs of birds that are heard no more where the forests used to be. Neither have I mentioned the disease spreading insects that now proliferate unchecked because of the birds, their predators are gone, resulting in an increase in encephalitis in the children of the region. So you see, there are serious questions to be raised about the traditional calculation a profit on the sale of timber harvested from clear-cut forest.”[4] So, we are all products of our decisions and Sustainability is a commitment to do the right thing.

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[1] CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Reference for Business; Encyclopedia of Small Business; Retieved: 12 Sep 2011
[2] McWilliams, Abagail; Siegel, Donald S. and Wright, Patrick M.; Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications; Journal of Management Studies 43:1 January 2006
[3] Corporate Social Responsibility, Reference for Business; Encyclopedia of Small Business; Retrieved: 12 Sep 2011
[4] Anderson, Ray C.; Mid-Course Correction, Chelsea Green publishing Company, White River Junction, Vermont, 3rd printing September 2005

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Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
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Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
~Kakuzo Okakaura
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Herb Kelleher is often quoted as saying; “If you don’t change, you die.” When asked by his successor, Gary Kelly, to expand on that notion, he said, “If things change faster outside your company than they change inside your company, then you have something to worry about.”

Change is often called the “business constant”. For change in the marketplace, the government, regulations, Customer needs and wants, various forms of technology, even the issues of land, water and air are variables that influence business and your enterprise. So, I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Kelleher and Mr. Kelly.

The beliefs of Mr. Kelleher and Mr. Kelly are substantiated by McKinsey & Company research. Their experience with scores of major transformation efforts, combined with research they have undertaken over the past decade, suggests that four key functions collectively define a successful role for the CEO in a enterprise transformation:

  1. Making the transformation meaningful. People will go to extraordinary lengths for causes they believe in, and a powerful transformation story will create and reinforce their commitment. The ultimate impact of the story depends on the CEO’s willingness to make the transformation personal, to engage others openly, and to spotlight successes as they emerge.
  2. Role-modeling desired mind-sets and behavior. Successful CEOs typically embark on their own personal transformation journey. Their actions encourage employees to support and practice the new types of behavior.
  3. Building a strong and committed top team. To harness the transformative power of the top team, CEOs must make tough decisions about who has the ability and motivation to make the journey.
  4. Relentlessly pursuing impact. There is no substitute for CEOs rolling up their sleeves and getting personally involved when significant financial and symbolic value is at stake[1].

Change is preparing your organization to lead and be proactive ahead of a change curve. Read this article and understand some of the insights gleaned from Southwest airlines are important. http://tinyurl.com/lxoxyqk

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[1] Aiken, Carolyn B.  and Keller, Scott P.; The CEO’s role in leading transformation; Insights & Publications; February 2007

______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb
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New methods to change waste

In 2014, there are trends to remediate food waste through recycling, banning food garbage in landfills and converting food into renewable energy. Here are some  examples of what is happening in the United States:

In Connecticut,  beginning in January 2014,  a new law was passed requiring businesses within 20 miles of composting facilities are obliged to recycle their food waste. Businesses producing more than 104 tons per year will be required to meet this food recycling obligation.

In New York City, food waste recycling efforts are being discussed with Waste Management. Beginning this year, Waste Management has started delivering truckloads of waste to a Brooklyn wastewater treatment plant that will be converting it into energy.

In Massachusetts,  a commercial food waste landfill ban goes into effect in 2014. The state hopes the ban will meet or exceed waste reduction goals and increase the food recycling infrastructure. It is important to note that the Red Sox are involved in this program and their support strengthens awareness.

For more information: http://tinyurl.com/olvs62c

Top 20 Trends for 2014

The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, on which food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014. The What’s Hot in 2014 survey was conducted in the fall of 2013 among nearly 1,300 chefs. Click on the link below to read more information about their methodology.

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Healthful kids’ meals
  5. Gluten-free cuisine
  6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  7. Children’s nutrition
  8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Farm/estate branded items
  11. Nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking (e.g. reduce food waste by using entire animal/plant)
  12. Whole grain items in kids’ meals
  13. Health/nutrition
  14. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, tri-tip)
  15. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)
  16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  17. Grazing (e.g. small-plate sharing/snacking instead of traditional meals)
  18. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
  19. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items
  20. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

For more information: http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/WhatsHot/What-s-Hot-2014.pdf

Another interesting survey

Further, the National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry.  Their recent survey finds most Americans would compost if it was more convenient in their community. Here are some of the results:

  •     72 percentage of Americans do not compost their food waste
  •     67 percentage of non-composters who would be willing to do it if it were convenient in their community
  •     62 percentage of Americans who would not support any increase in the cost of waste disposal if composting were offered to them

For more information: http://tinyurl.com/ph9qob4

______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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A few years ago, the environmentalist – Daryl Hannah, wrote an article entitled;  “If Food Waste Were a Country, It Would Rank No. 3 for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.  In that article, she suggested that maximizing regional self-sufficiency with prudent agricultural practices and energy production conservation methods will strengthen local economies, make them more resilient  … and ease the sense of scarcity and the economic burden increasingly felt by the majority. To my chagrin, I have to agree with Ms. Hanah. Food is a critical Sustainability issue and will continue to be so for the next four decades, especially if we don’t begin addressing it today.

In 1980, just as the Green Revolution began being implemented in much of the world, 47 percent of all children in the developing world had stunted growth, a good measure of their nutrition level. By the year 2000, it had dropped to 33 percent. The Green Revolution laid the cornerstone for adequate nourishment by increasing the available calories and protein of the developing world’s people. Statistician Amy Pearce estimates that Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution resulted in over 245 million lives being saved due to improved nutrition.

As Borlaug continued his efforts to expand agricultural success, he found himself fighting off some environmentalists who denounced his methods of using large amounts of fertilizer and pesticide. Borlaug responded, “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. They have never produced a ton of food. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 60 years, they’d be crying out for fertilizer, herbicides, irrigation canals and tractors and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

Borlaug notes that without modern farming technology, an additional area the size of the contiguous United States would have to be farmed to feed today’s world population. Thus, a side benefit of Borlaug’s Green Revolution may be that it saved more land for wilderness than any other single environmental initiative.[1]

Thirty two years later, the EPA quantifies the magnitude of food waste in the United States. “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW). In 2012 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.”

The US EPA suggests six ways of utilizing food more efficiently. “How Can I Divert Food From Landfills?” If you go to that web page will read kore details (http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/foodwaste/), but the generally focus are on these six points:

•    Source Reduction/Prevention – Preventing food waste before it is created
•    Feeding People – Donating fresh, wholesome food to those in need
•    Feeding Animals – Feeding safe, fresh food scraps to animals like pig farms
•    Industrial Uses – Rendering fats, oils, and grease and turning it into products or biofuel
•    Composting – Turning food waste into a valuable soil amendment
•    Anaerobic Digestion – Turning food waste into renewable energy and a valuable soil amendment

This problem is on the mind of Ken Botts who is the special projects manager of the University of North Texas Food Department. Ken and I had lunch the other day and he shared that he firmly believed in Sustainability and one of the tenants is to eliminate waste, in his case – food waste. He shared that the food department is trying to do a better job of communicating the issue of food waste and plans an awareness campaign to launch UNT’s food waste recovery program. This is an extension of his efforts from last year: http://ntdaily.com/unt-to-launch-food-waste-recovery-program-in-fall/

What are the environmental benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It reduces methane generated by decomposition in landfills
•    It reduces natural resource (land and water) use associated with food production
•    It creatives a valuable soil amendment (nutrients are returned to the soil)
•    It improves sanitation, Public Safety, and Health at your facility

What are the economic benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It lowers overall disposal costs
•    It reduces over purchasing and labor costs
•    It receives tax benefits by donating food

What are the social benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It feeds people, not landfills

As Ray Anderson, the first Sustainability pioneer, said;  “I also believe that it doesn’t happen quickly (e.g. Sustainability) … it happens one mind at a time, one organization at a time, one building, one company, one community, one region, one new, clean technology, one industry, one supply chain at a time … until the entire industrial system has been transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.”

If we listen to what Mr. Anderson urged, that identifying waste is not only a part of the solution, it is the action we must be take to eliminate the waste. We quantify success by results measured. So, we can finally see that it is indeed “transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.” To divert food waste from landfills would be testament to Mr. Anderson’s insight. In this case, benefits for American citizens dependent on food stamps and those countries, globally, that do no have enough food today. Reclaiming 36 million tons of food could be the largest gift to the world.

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[1] Wilson, Chuck, “Father of the Green Revolution – He Helped Feed the World!”,ScienceHeros.com, Retrieved: 18 Sep 2012

______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

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Sustainability is often described as a three legged stool: Economic, Environmental and Social. So, if Russia is reacquiring territories that were in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, how does that affect Sustainability that is based on Economic, Environmental and Social considerations? How will impact those agreement where Russia and US have collaborated for decades?

Russian incursion into the Ukraine is creating uncertainty and stress upon international relations that may very well last for decades. Geo-political rhetoric from EU, US and former Eastern Bloc countries are falling on deaf ears in Russia. Crimea is the treasure for the invasion and side liners are accusing Putin of antiquated Cold War tactics demonstrated  by incursions into Hungary and then Czechoslovakia.

Let’s move to the 21st century. Look how we have agreements that leverage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1:

•    In 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection
•    In 1994, the Agreement was renegotiated to replace the USSR with the Russian Federation as signatory.
•    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinates implementation of nature conservation efforts under the Agreement in partnership with federal, state, local, non-governmental, Native and other partners.

From an environmental perspective, other agreements that utilize EPA’s main expertise with US-Russia include2:

•    Bilateral Presidential Commission Environment Working Group (EWG)
•    Bilateral Cooperation on Management of Legacy Waste
•    Bilateral Cooperation on Black Carbon Emissions in the Russian Arctic
•    Russian Arctic Research and Science
•    Global Methane Initiative

One issue, energy, is being raised by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to use oil and gas as a behavior changer for Putin. But, the consequences could be far reaching. If he is intransigent, as he has been in the past, EU and former Eastern Bloc countries could see near term energy shortages – during their winter months. Delivery time from US well heads to those countries are not established and replacement will delay much needed energy for heat and cooking usage.  As Sen. Murkowski insists; “We need to give them reason to move, and we also need to make sure the broader public comes along as well,” she said. “We need to recalibrate the thinking that America’s energy resources are a scarcity to where they are right now—an abundance.”3

Escalation of barriers and resurrecting old concerns and uncertainty may unravel countless agreements that were signed as common interests. The real uncertainty is how far will the West tolerate Russian aggression that includes violating international laws? Will Sustainability agreements be “deactivated” that impact economic, environmental and social bridges on both sides? From a EU and US perspective, it looks like a win-win end-game that mitigates Russia’s risk. From a former Eastern Block country and US perspective, it also looks like another win-win end-game that mitigates Russia’s risk and moves Western capitalism and Sustainability closer to the Russian border.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101462017

But with the “no agreement” meeting today, at what costs will both sides willing to go? US and EU allies may talk about banking and IMF constraints and there are talks about removing Russia from the G8 and G20.  There are also talks about restraining oligarchs from using there yachts in western ports and restrict travel by air.

So, when Stephen Covey said;  “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” Perhaps he would give the same advice to those diplomats who yield to brinkmanship, rather than working on real international relations.

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1 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for International Affairs web site
2 EPA web site
3 It’s time to export ‘abundance’ of US oil: Senator; CNBC, Published: Monday, 3 Mar 2014

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The 21st century will be Renaissance of Sustainability, it will be the convergence of science, engineering, art and understanding of nature.

______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.” ~Mary Kay Ash
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For years companies have widened their nets to capture new talent. New BMWs, country club memberships, travel perks and other benefits have been used as incentives to attract new talent.  However, well-being benefits are becoming a “higher-value” to many young “millenniums”. So what does “well-being” mean to business? That varies to the needs of each corporation, its perception of the value for new talent and their contribution to the organization. It also addresses the needs of existing employees, as well.

The Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission found the following objective measures necessary in measuring human well-being along the lines of the “eight key dimensions”: 1) personal income, consumption and wealth; 2) mortality and morbidity; 3) educational enrollment, graduation rates, years completed, standardized test scores and expenditure on education; 4) time spent on personal activities including paid and unpaid work, commuting, and leisure time; 5) measures of housing; 6) political voice (freedom of speech, dissent, and association) and governance (corruption, accountability, democracy, universal suffrage, and non-citizen rights); 7) social connections (volunteer work, civic engagement, and the amount, nature, and breadth of connections generally); 8) environment (econsystems health, access to environmental resources, individual exposure to pollutants); 9) personal insecurity (crime, accidents, natural disasters); and 10) economic insecurity (job security, illness and health issues, and global economic trends).1

Mark Kinver is an environmental reporter for BBC News. He recently wrote a thought provoking article about well being and discussed often overlooked employee well-being is not commonly considered a company benefit. I encourage you to read his recent article by following this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25682368

Footnote: 1 Sen, A., Stiglitz, J. E., & Fitoussi, J.-P. (2009). Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. Paris, France: The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress.(pgs  41-44)

______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“To be thrown upon one’s own resources, is to be cast into the very lap of fortune; for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible” ~ Benjamin Franklin


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A study from the US Department of Energy answered many questions discussed in the article cited below and highlight future needs for more investigation to help power generation owners insight on deciding to retrofit or rebuild power plants. Even though system-wide impacts of cycling are modest, an individual unit could suffer higher than average cycling. Plant owners in this situation will want to know whether they should retrofit their unit or change their operations to better manage cycling at a lower overall cost. Ongoing work includes research on potential retrofits or operational strategies to increase the flexibility of fossil-fueled generators. This includes analysis of the costs and benefits of retrofitting existing plants for options such as lower minimum generation levels or faster ramp rates.

Additional analysis work that would illuminate the impacts of cycling and further compare wind and solar includes the following:

  • Market impacts on fossil-fueled plants: How do increased O&M (operations and maintenance) costs and reduced capacity factors affect cost recovery for fossil-fueled plants? What market structures might need revision in a high wind and solar paradigm? How do the economics look for those plants that were most affected?
  • Fuel-price sensitivities: How are operations and results affected by different fuel prices for coal and gas?
  • Different retirement scenarios: How are operations and results affected if significant coal capacity is retired or if the balance of plants is flexible versus inflexible?
  • Storage: Does storage mitigate cycling and is it cost effective?
  • Impacts of dispersed versus centralized PV (photovoltaic): How does rooftop versus utility-scale PV affect the grid?
  • Reserves requirement testing to fine tune flexibility reserves: What confidence levels of flexibility reserves are most cost effective and still retain reliable grid operation?
  • Scenarios with constrained transmission build-outs: If transmission is constrained, what is grid performance and how is cycling affected?
  • Reserve-sharing options: How do different reserve-sharing options affect grid operations?
  • Increased hydro flexibility and modeling assumptions: How does flexibility in the hydro fleet affect grid operations and what is the impact on cycling?
  • Hurdle rates to represent market friction: With higher hurdle rates to mimic less BA (balancing authority) cooperation, how are grid operations and cycling affected?
  • Comparison of the detailed 5-minute production simulation modeling with cycling costs to hourly production simulation modeling without cycling costs: How much more accurate is the detailed modeling?
  • Gas supply: Is additional gas storage needed? How does increased wind/solar affect gas scheduling and supply issues?

Dr. Greg Unruh tells me that in years past the financial benefits of energy management might have “looked minor compared to investing in new product development or a new marketing campaign.” But now, he says, with the price of energy going up, the economics of energy management become “much more interesting.” As a unit of energy goes up in price, “it cuts the payback period” for an energy-management project[1].

For more information, read this article for more information: How to save $7 billion by greening up the grid

Footnote:
[1] Al Bredenberg; Energy and Carbon Management Are Increasingly on Manufacturers’ Radar; ThomasNet http://news.thomasnet.com/green_clean/2012/08/27/energy-and-carbon-management-are-increasingly-on-manufacturers-radar/; August 27th, 2012

When Science and Business Create Cleaner Energy:  How to save $7 billion by greening up the grid

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“Where would we be without salt?”  ~  Ralph Jarvis
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The world is changing even the basic needs are at stake such as food and water. Reduction or elimination of food production while demand increases for food could create a tragic scenario in the not too distant future. Top leadership in some countries are looking beyond such a cataclysmic scenario and making plans and solutions to prepare for food management.

For instance, China’s goal is to continue manufacturing finished goods, at big levels, will consume their available water and impact food production. So, this year China’s leadership addressed this water usage solution by simply making a deal to farm 3.0 million hectares (11, 583 square miles) of Ukrainian land over the span of half a century. But China is not alone:

2008
Egypt: bought 800.000 hectares from Uganda
UAE: bought 324.000 hectares from Pakistan
 
2009
South Korea: bought 690,000 hectares from Sudan
 
2010
Egypt: bought 427.000 hectares from Russia
Egypt: bought 400.000 hectares from Sudan

Source: King, Ritchie; Quartz, http://www.qz.com

Here is an article that would expand on these ideas: McKinsey article: Resource revolution

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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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The year 2050 is the usual target for global sustainable transformation. Here is an article that has a silver lining to those who plan ahead to anticipate actions to achieve a more efficient society.

$70 Trillion (via Environment News Service)

PARIS, France, July 15, 2013 (ENS) – Energy demand for urban transport is expected to double by 2050, but the latest report from the International Energy Agency sees potential savings of up to US$70 trillion through energy efficiency. “Energy efficiency…

(more…)

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“People only see what they are prepared to see.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Business needs a model to integrate strategies with objectives, both business and sustainability, to collaborate internally, listen to external publics, effectively apply effort and resources that produce products and services fulfilling expectations of the customer. It promotes continuous improvement while recognizing stewardship for the environment, while benefiting the corporation.

“In a typical large change program, it is not a matter of sending out the new organization chart or the new budget or the new strategy with a few projects. It is about changing people’s behavior, often a lot of people, and this is not trivial.”           ~ Professor John P Kotter, Harvard Business School

Interesting enough, research shows there are at least two paths to Sustainability. Sustainability can be a voluntary, directed and focused initiative designed to transform the mindset and culture within your organization. Often times this is a culmination of a series of transformations that has brought your organization to realize that the next step should be long-term and more stable over time. Sustainability can also be an obligation from the central government to ensure environmental control of emissions that encourages best practices or driven by market or internal forces to survive the changing market landscape.

However, there is another perspective that acknowledges that Sustainability is the evolutionary “next step” of investigating internal and external opportunities. Not every company understands Sustainability, nor embraces CSR to implement it correctly.  Understanding starts with recognizing threats and accepting why change is necessary. Here are seven possible explanations of why a company would choose to be socially responsible:

Reason #1: Urgently Needed Fixes.  Often times, Owners and Executives will want to transform their organization, with a since of urgency, for immediate reasons. Many times this is triggered by a crisis or event that forces the need for change.  It may be a vacuum in the succession of the business leadership, market valuations, illegal business practices or environmental catastrophes. Owners and Executives, who are forward thinking, will recognize potential impact of their crisis and foresee the consequences and recognize the potential exposure from past practices.

Reason #2: It’s just the way it has always been[1]. Succession of leadership is an opportunity for change. This is especially true when the original founders of the Corporation past leadership roles to trusted personnel and family. Taking this transition creates an opportunity for change that could outline a number of reasons why executives would consider Sustainability as the next logical organizational change. The organizational mantra “it’s always been this way” should be a signal for leadership to look at areas of waste and applying Sustainability and Quality principles.

Reason #3: CEO interest[2]. A CEO may have a number of interests around Sustainability, but the two most important are based on tangible benefits in mitigation of external risks. Today, more often than not CEOs will rely upon their CFOs expertise and understanding of tangible benefits from Sustainability. From a risk point of view, CEOs must play the leadership role when confronted by NGOs. As Steve Fludder, VP of Ecomagination, GE said; “Let’s figure out how to take the world in a different direction and let’s all go there together.”

Reason #4: Reducing Costs To Stay Competitive. Good leadership will have costs as targets for business success. Would these cost savings have happened anyway without Sustainability?  Perhaps. Looking through Sustainability lens, identification and elimination of costs will be seen differently. Here are some examples of how costs could increase performance and profitability in an organization:

  •    Cut mileage out of transportation routes
  •    Reduce energy consumption
  •    Reduce water consumption
  •    Telecommuting to reduce employee carbon footprint and increase productivity
  •    Eliminate a variety of waste, internally and externally

Reason #5: Legislation Uncertainty. CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Astute executives are CEOs are wary of looming “anti-business” rhetoric and possible legislation that will increase government involvement in environmental processes and procedures. In this context, CSR is a mitigation tool against government over regulation of an industry. Further, CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international regulations.

Whether through court decisions, regulations, or legislation, companies and industries can be forced into social and environmentally responsible practices. They are also worried about possible legislation that would penalize previous behavior and increase future litigation and risk to business. Current EPA regulations monitor impact from air, water and land emissions.

Reason #6: Overzealous Marketers[3]. “Greenwashing” is recognized as the “yellow journalism” of marketing. It makes claims about a product or company that cannot be substantiated by actual business or environmental actions or records involving the protection of community, habitat or the entire planet. Overzealous marketers are essentially disingenuous storytellers who are not practicing social responsibility and not transparent. However, prudent leadership caught in “liar, liar, pants on fire” scenario may be compelled to rectify that behavior and improve their brand image through active Sustainability practices.

Reason #7: Third Party Intervention. A financial institution that has supported the business may seek improvements in the business performance to reduce a potential risk to their investment. This may prompt the business leaders to take improvement actions that were previously alien to satisfy the institution and reduce the risk to their own assets that may be held as a guarantee against the investment[4].

Reason #8:  Sales Decline. There may be a serious decline in sales. Competition, new technologies, a failure to meet the customer needs and expectations, a history of poor product development and introduction or poor marketing may all be contributory factors in reduced sales and be the catalyst for the business owner to change the approach to the business development[5].

Reason #9: Takeover. The business is acquired and the policies and practices of the acquiring business are adopted and introduce a proactive approach to the business. This may follow the appointment of new executive directors[6].

Reason #10: Lack of Internal Skills. The dearth of management skills within the business may trigger the appointment of an external senior executive who brings new methodologies, planning and enterprise to the business[7].

Reason #11:  Family Business ‘Turmoil’. The autocratic control of an owner may at times only be changed through the realization that permanent family divisions are undesirable. It may well be the opportunity for perhaps the ‘university educated next generation of family’ to demonstrate their abilities in setting and achieving sustainable growth strategies and managing the culture change[8].

Reason #12: Where’s The Beef? This a true “loss of face” predicament when your executives have promoted that the company meets or exceeds compliance to Sustainability principles and standards, but either have not fully implemented checks and balance, not completely institutionalized all employees, have not tethered executive incentives to behavior or do not hold Suppliers to the same standards. The most obvious example is British Petroleum [BP]. BP had engage its entire enterprise and committed to Sustainability for years. It was often highlighted as an example of making a carbon based industry leader into a paragon of Sustainability virtue. However, in 2010, that lofty status was dethroned when BP created the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sustainability is the holistic business model for the 21st century. From a business perspective, it is a long-term strategy that eliminates waste, both externally and internally, while supporting the survivability and transformation of the enterprise. The future is our’s to create now.

Footnotes:
[1] Epstein-Reeves, James; The Six Reasons Why Companies Actually Wind Up Embracing CSR,  Forbes,  The CSR Blog – Corporate Social Responsibility  10/17/2012
[2] Epstein-Reeves, James; Ibid.
[3] Epstein-Reeves, James; Op. cit.
[4] Willetts, David; DAW Consulting, UK; Retrieved; 12 Aug 2012
[5] Willetts, David; Ibid.
[6] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[7] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[8] Willetts, David; Op. cit.

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