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Archive for the ‘Transparency’ Category

“There’s an awful lot of talented people in this country and a lot of them put their own money into trying to break through. But because they haven’t got the knowledge or the business expertise to do it, they fail.” ~Steve Betts
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Originating from NSA and US military needs of analyzing a changing environment in today’s world, VUCA is a methodology that helps assess the environment. It is based on these four phases:

  • Volatility. The nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
  • Uncertainty. The lack of predictability, the prospects for surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.
  • Complexity. The multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround an organization.
  • Ambiguity. The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.

Understanding the VUCA World
September 16, 2013
Bob Johansen, of the Institute for the Future, with David Small, VP of Global Talent at McDonald’s Corporation, introduce the concept of the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) World, and the four strategies to counteract it.

Follow this link: http://www.cvdl.org/blog/understanding-vuca-world/
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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: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
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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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President Abraham Lincoln would have recognized that change is timeless and nestles into each generation. Sustainability is one such form of change. I think Ol Abe would have repeated this quote:

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

My newest book, Building a Bridge to Benefits, provides Owners and Executives understanding how and where Sustainability can improve performance and efficiency.

This book provides a step-by-step approach, from Vision to Waste to Tangible Benefits, in molding an organization into a Sustainable Developed enterprise. Building a Bridge to Benefits is a top-down approach to transforming a corporation into a Sustainable Developed enterprise. Environmentalist will say Sustainability is doing more with less. But that does not communicate the real business value to an executive.

I had the good fortune to have the book edited by two key Sustainability experts from the University of North Texas: Dr. Todd Spinks, who is the Director – Office of Sustainability and Mr. Raynard Kearbey – Associate Vice Chancellor for System Facilities. They were helpful in refining the pragmatic Sustainability message I wanted to dispatch to business leadership.

Sustinability is clearly understandable and links to the inter-connectivity to social, economic and environmental domains. Sustainability is an initiative based on methodology, ethics and changing a business mindset. It explains what Corporate Social Responsibility is about and how it could be integrated into your Strategic Planning, not replacing it. It illustrates how a focused effort can leverage Lean Six Sigma as a best-practices, while adopting Ethics and Stewardship principles, implementing transformation and adjusting the enterprise mindset to work within a clearly understood and effective processes.

Sustainability provides awareness of consumption and why creating emissions are problems. It highlights why efficient process are needed and may not be optimized. How it can be used to provide differentiation of their product offerings in the marketplace. Why corporations should weave Sustainability into their overall corporate strategies as opposed to a stand-alone strategy. It answers questions why Sustainability is important to all employees, why link to Lean Six Sigma, why would executives consider making a change to the organization and what are the key wastes that should be eliminated from the enterprise.

As a management consultant, I understand that company Owners and Executives are constantly searching for better ways to do business. Most executives are becoming aware that their competition are benefiting from such a transformation, that government is becoming more invasive and they want to understand where tangible benefits can be gained.

As a senior consultant, I believe Sustainability will be a key centerpiece in every prudent 21st century Business Strategy. While many Owners and Executives are considering Sustainability projects, very few are clear how to effectively implement a Sustainability initiative. Fewer still are not looking to combine Sustainability with Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, but that combination would optimize transformation and instill best practices.

Currently, the book has 12 chapters that approach your Vision to identify and eliminate costly waste:

1. A Vision For Sustainability
2. Executive Commitment And Vision
3. Corporate Social Responsibility
4. Corporate Planning and CSR
5. Sustainability’s Engagement Strategy
6.  All Employees Own The Vision
7. Ethics And Stewardship
8. Good People And New Talent
9. Sustainability and Quality Crossroads
10. Identifying Inefficiencies and Waste
11. Transformation’s Four Phases
12. Realization – Audit and Validation

(Note: The book is now being finalized and any edits may change chapter headings.)

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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
Blog: Horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seat belts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.”  ~ Paul Hawken
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The 21st century will be a century of change, transformation, new ideas and innovation, and discoveries that will enrich our society.  We have entered a new industrial revolution.  An industrial change that acknowledges our environment, our current generation’s needs, our need to revisit best practices, our business need to transform and prepare our legacy to meet the needs for succeeding generations.

We currently have, in place, a budding Sustainability industry that will continue to grow, mature and expand in the next 20 years. This is not a siloed approach,  but an integrated solution approach that is tailored to fit each organization’s needs.

Ideas will come from Humanity and Nature will show us the path.  We will see a dance between Technology and Science that will build our economies as nothing before. Technological arrays, will focus on issues and resolution through the use of technology. From science, biological and “natural” views, will focus on how to restore our environment. It will continue to build on array and matrix foundations, which will holistically support industries, countries and the world in the transformation to a sustainable planet. Technological arrays will interconnect technologies for remediation of Sustainability issues (i.e.,  Transportation, Traffic, Internet, Water Purification, etc.). Environmental matrices will produce biological and “natural” views will make solutions for converting waste to bio-nutrients for the purpose of environmental restoration. This is a long-term mending and nurturing strategy to restore our planet.

In this century, business will be the true catalyst for pragmatic Sustainability transformation.  This is a systematic approach of eliminating waste, improve efficiency,  addressing customer needs, and recognizing corporate social responsibilities. Sustainability is a systemic framework to address economic, environmental, social and technological issues, to create a sustainable world and avoid declining ecosystems and the extinction of Humanity as we know it. The business community has begun to implement Sustainability and has proven that change can indeed be profitable.

For the first time in the history of humanity, we can see our survivability threaten by witnessing dramatic climatic change, scarcity of resources, overpopulation, and the ignorance and abuse of our planet. Humanity will be obliged to address these critical problems. Our population is growing at phenomenal rate and this key issue, which increases demands on all resources (land, water, food, air, etc.) will be the bane of the next two or three human generations. But we have a choice. We must change our approach to business, recognize resource limitations, and make decisions that ensure holistic understanding in order to make informed decisions that will benefit our biosphere and mankind. Four profound ideas will transform this century and lead us down a more secure path:

  •     Creating A New Renaissance will bring new ideas and original thought
  •     Creating Shared Value will redefine business and its relationship with society
  •     Creating Disruptive Technology will bring innovation to the marketplace
  •     Creating Technology For New Resources will bring new resources to the market
  •     Creating A Gateway To Originality will bring new thoughts and meld with old ones

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 …
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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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“Process change has become embedded in individual functions and business units, and they have seen the benefits to their bottom lines. So they come to IT because they want to know what other parts of the company have done. We’ve gone from being the engineers of new processes to being the movers of innovation across the company.” ~  Lee Scott, former CEO of WalMart
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“Much more remains to be done to help companies turn Sustainability goals into action,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “CEOs clearly see the need to instill Sustainability at all levels and roles within organizations, and this unprecedented level of data and analysis will enable us to help them on their journey to truly embedded long-term Sustainability.”

Business Transformation, when designed as an Opportunity, is the alignment of Business Strategies, Objectives and Requirements that orchestrate your enterprise resources (i.e., Customers, Operations, Financial, IT, Suppliers, etc.). The desired change is directed by unique Roadmaps and is measured by metrics for Growth, Performance and Savings.

Business Transformation can be defined as the “combination of strategic, process, organizational change, and technology development focused around one clear vision, resulting in a significant change in the organization and substantial financial benefits[1].” This has been the theme in previous chapters and now we need to link the value of transformation into actions and milestones.

Corporations, whether small, medium or larger sized, are always faced with refinement and improvement of complex business systems and strategic processes. Often these key structures are intertwined, so Transformation must be controlled and managed.
Transformation is controlling business change in order to reposition your organization by exploiting potential increases in Growth, Performance or Savings. In today’s environment, success can be derived from applied best-in-class solutions.

Successful transformation can be implemented incrementally, based on a project’s focus such as efficiency, productivity, profitability or a selected combination. In the beginning, select the “low lying fruit” that is easy to complete, build team confidence and can quickly apply the new tools and training for your entire organization.

Management of risk and its mitigation are key to any successful project. In a low reward scenario, a single project that is positioned to take advantage of technology could also be applied in order to streamline processes and provide efficiencies with little downside risks. At the operating or department level, productivity gains and financial rewards can be gained through streamlined processes and/or technology. In another scenario, co-transformations between departments can produce a synergistic effect, and again the efficiency increases rewards. Last and most significant is the strategic scenario of transformation that would encompass the whole organization providing systematic rewards and results.

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 …
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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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Footnotes
[1] Goonan, Brian, “Business Transformation: Doing it Right, Part I,” CIO Magazine, 9 February 2005

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“As application inter-operability and cloud computing become new IT standards, expect Sustainability applications that harness big data by integrating with existing business systems to become commonplace.” ~ Patti Prairie, author of “Biomimicry”
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In today’s world of analytics from intelligence gathering, to business analysis, to gathering data on rain forests and its inhabitants; Big Data has been acknowledged for decades. For example, in Biosphere 2, an Earth research facility that is now owned by the University of Arizona, data is collected in each environmental habitat. Whether it is water, electricity used, humidity, water salination in their pools, or other habitat variables; they are all measured to understand how ecosystems work.

Biosphere 2 contained representative biomes: a 1,900 square meter rainforest, an 850 square meter ocean with a coral reef, a 450 square meter mangrove wetlands, a 1,300 square meter savannah grassland, a 1,400 square meter fog desert, a 2,500 square meter agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground infrastructure. Heating and cooling water circulated through independent piping systems and passive solar input through the glass space frame panels covering most of the facility, and electrical power was supplied into Biosphere 2 from an onsite natural gas energy center. [see footnote]

 
For more information, read this article from HBR’s Blog: Does Bigger Data Lead to Better Decisions?

Footnote: UASCIENCE Fast Facts

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“Our vision is to rethink how many of the material needs of society can be met by using renewable agriculturally based raw materials, … it is one of very few institutions in the world that can bring together so many physical and life scientists, engineers and social scientists with the talent and interest in sustainable development, or that has access to so many bright young minds.”  ~ Larry Walker
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We rely on the commitment and energy of all our people to help us achieve our Sustainability goals.

All around the world, Unilever people are doing jobs that contribute to the environment and society. They are contributing to our business success and helping us to achieve our Sustainable Living Plan targets.

Some jobs involve working with our partners and partnership development, others promoting the Sustainability of our agricultural raw materials.

Some are involved in activities that help us manage our impacts ― from setting environmental targets and monitoring our progress, to designing marketing programs for our brands to promote better health and hygiene practices[1].

Many corporations have recognized that their employees are the most important resource in the organization. Others are beginning to understand that argument and changing their corporate values to better support employees. So, discussing the issues surrounding Sustainability, eliminating waste through changes to resolve those problems, are mostly resolved by educating and training your employees.

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
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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[1] Sustainability people profiles; Unilever; http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/betterlivelihoods/profiles/index.aspx; Retrieved: 10 Aug 2013

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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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“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”  ~ Galileo Galilei
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U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a small staff of 12 volunteer scientists who research Climate Change. They recently published another tome that questions their veracity. It also questions whether Climate Change is real, imagined, but essentially does not resolve that question at all. Its suggested (but unsubstantiated) impact on the environment, society and economic consequences is becoming an indicator for uncertainty rather than explaining real trends.

These assumptions and Climate Change is controversial since it is promoted by “beliefs” rather than measurable facts and metrics. The IPCC said; “scientists are 95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming since the 1950s.” Although there is no change in temperature for the last 15 years, yet that anomaly is downplayed in the report.

Why the disparity? According to the scientists, it is due to the ongoing understanding of climate change. The report made significant adjustments from its previous reports. For example:

  • In the 2007 study, the temperature range for doubling CO2 in the atmosphere was 2.0C to 4.5C.
  • In the latest study,  the temperature range for doubling CO2 in the atmosphere was expanded  to 1.5C to 4.5C.

Apparently they needed to expand the range of temperature to “fit” their models? Although this is cynicism, increasing the range in temperatures and assumptions affect predictions of sea level rise that will proceed faster, ocean warming, and other areas where warming is projected to continue in all scenarios. Here are some other areas where recommendations from the IPCC impact scenarios:

  • Rising Sea Levels
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Heat Extremes
  • Lower agricultural yields
  • Risks to Human Support Systems
  • Non-linear impacts tipping elements

So, where is the reporting Transparency in the study? It is public, right. But shouldn’t the IPCC stand on the same level of scrutiny that corporations are encouraged to provide? It stands with “scientist’s belief” that man has created the problem of climate change, yet recent IPCC models do not explain man’s significance on Earth’s climate.

What be other explanations? Here are a few examples: volcanoes in the lithosphere or hydrosphere, recent earthquakes that created an island off the coast of Pakistan that is made of methane infused clays, possible thawing of the permafrost and possible underestimate of the sun’s influence, especially with the recent large solar flares.

Predicting the Climate Change of our planet is a huge undertaking. Given this rather “flexible” notion to Climate Change, based on a dozen volunteer scientist’s “beliefs” and opinions. Why would executives give any credence to Sustainability? Executives make decisions on facts. And according to other sources, there are other significant megaforces that executives would recognize as a threat to their bottom line.

IPCC has been a target for promoting their own agenda, not the science. I would have thought that criticism could be minimized if they took a recommendation from their organization, the United Nations. Both the UN Global Pact and CERES have principles for BUSINESS. Why doesn’t the UN have principles for CLIMATE CHANGE? My suggestion is to read and become more informed. Here are a couple of recent articles that also question the recent IPCC publication:

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“Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet if all men became just, there would be no need for courage.”
~ Agesilaus the Second 443 ~ 359 BC, King of Sparta 401-360 BC
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I have had my graduate students ask what are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and why should they be considered as an externality to a corporate organization? A better question might be: Does a business-to-NGO (B2N) relationship exist and should we beware of outside agendas?

First, what is an NGO? The term originated from the United Nations, and normally refers to organizations that are not a part of a government and are not conventional for-profit businesses. In the United States, NGOs are typically nonprofit organizations. The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue wider social aims that have political aspects, but are not openly political organizations such as political parties.

Second, the term “externality” originated from an economic perspective: a side effect or consequence of an industrial or commercial activity that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved, such as the pollination of surrounding crops by bees kept for honey.

In a Sustainability context, it takes another meaning: Externalities occur when a third party incurs unintended consequences from the market behaviors of others. Externalities can be either negative (pollution, waste clean-up fees that a community must bear, rather than the generator of the waste), or they can be positive (The Clean Water Act generates positive effects for many who were not involved in enacting the bill).

Sustainability is in its infancy and understanding how to manipulate or replace one technology with another, or use a different best practice over another, or even find a better energy source that is reliable, safe, practical and cost effective can be very complex set of decisions and often require innovative approaches. Business must currently utilize existing energy resources to produce goods and services and create jobs and investments.

But, business is always looking for better ways of working. It now recognizes that energy will have a significant impact on our economy in the next 20-50 years. The 18 September issue of the WSJ states; “Companies are increasingly choosing to generate their own power, rather than buying it from a utility, spurred by falling prices for solar panels and natural gas, and fears of outages.”

Executives clearly understand that continuing to rely on local utilities is a risky decision. They also recognize that alternatives can produce significant tangible benefits for the corporation and energy efficiency is one of  those opportunities. So, when costs for alternative energy sources are available, business will migrate.

There is a raging debate about the importance of carbon energy usage. It is neither clear-cut, nor clearly understood. It is often a discussed in simplified terms, but in reality is interwoven into our biosphere and interacts with other recognized issues: global warming, climate change and increasing rise of emissions. But this is an issue that NGOs, like CDP, embrace and often distort to fit their agenda.

“Companies can only reduce their carbon emissions if they know how and when they are emitting”; says Frances Way, Co-Chief Operating Officer, of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). That may sound good, but as an executive of an NGO, her perspective is neither objective, nor recognizes what has been implemented and successful without her rhetoric.  She sees CDP as the one change agent for businesses and highlights the importance of reducing carbon emissions. The Guardian journalist, Jo Cafino wrote; “Shame on all of you and the other 90 of the 500 largest listed companies in the world that chose not to give CDP the data it requested.”

So, why didn’t business furnish the data? From an executive’s point of view, compliance is not an NGO-business (B2N) function or purpose. Compliance is based on laws and regulations within governments (B2G) that corporations are legally incorporated and obliged to fulfill. But the drum beat by CDP seems to ignore what many of these companies have successfully done. In many ways they are the leaders of change and have begun the journey of reducing their carbon footprint. Had Cafino and Way actually researched a few of the 90 who didn’t report to CDP, they would have found much more.

If CDP read between the lines, Business is saying you are wasting our time. Sustainability is eliminating all waste: waste from external sources, waste from internal sources and waste from external demands that have already been actively pursued. From a Business perspective, their time has already been expended to resolve all of their Sustainability issues, not only carbon. Here are the their top three and what I found through simple searches on the web:

Amazon’s has demonstrated their commitment to energy reduction, thus reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Energy efficient buildings – usually 35-40 percent of energy use is consumed by buildings. Amazon has constructed six new LEEDs Gold certified buildings.
  • Corporate offices in Munich, Germany have been Gold-certified as environmentally friendly by the German Sustainable Building Council
  • Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Arizona received LEED certification for their commercial interiors.
  • Beijing, China maximizes the use of natural lighting, saving thousands of kilowatt-hours of power usage each month.

Amazon’s program summary: http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=13786321

Apple: Since 2009, Apple has measured their Environmental Footprint, not only in their buildings, but they approach it systematically. It included their products, supply chain and end of life cycle. It was a holistic approach. A former executive from EPA was brought in to organize and develop those strategies that would effectively benefit Apple not only in terms of carbon reduction, but included benefits in cost reduction, waste elimination, sales opportunities, brand image and incorporating Sustainability into product development and differentiation. In addition, their data centers (which also consumes 25-40 percent of energy in most corporations) are now powered 100 percent by renewable sources (e.g., solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal). Apple’s program: http://www.apple.com/environment/

Facebook is often controversial. Its privacy policies and lack of transparency are often problematic. So, when the issue regarding carbon usage or even applying Sustainability is not clear; therefore, their organization is easy to target its brand image.

So, what is an NGO? CDP is an organization that pursues wider social aims that have political aspects. It could also be viewed as an organization with an suspicious agenda. In this case, it demands information without authority, one that duplicates efforts from the business-government relationship model (B2G). So, in this context, what is the value-added? Maybe CDP should be obliged to apply Transparency themselves?

For those interested in the original articles, their links are provided below:

Original articles

An NGO opinion: Report shows companies still don’t take climate change seriously – CDP analysis reveal lack of action on emissions by top FTSE Global 500 corporations

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/cdp-report-companies-emissions-failing?goback=.gmp_59299.gde_59299_member_273381545#!

Another NGO opinion: Full disclosure on carbon emissions is the only way to save the planet. Shame on you, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. It is nothing short of a disgrace these three brands and 94 other major corporations refuse to divulge carbon emissions data to global NGO CDP. Read about the 97 brands, including Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which refuse to disclose their carbon emissions

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/apple-facebook-amazon-carbon-emissions-reporting

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“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”~ Stephen F. Covey
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a framework and encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them, effectively. It does not replace your Strategic Planning system, rather it should be integrated into your existing one to address new business opportunities. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental ramifications. CSR also addresses relationships in all key spheres of influence: corporate values, the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.

CSR is a coordinated and structured approach for business, government and non-profit transformation. It is not a marketing campaign on a “green” product. It is not only a facility’s managers duty, process or procedure. It is not only a Public Relations, Human Resource or Procurement job. It is not only about philanthropy for non-profit organizations. It is not only about community involvement like building a playground for your local park. Rather it is a framework that focuses a lens on the tangible benefits that can be garnered from Sustainability and how company’s work within the sphere of the community. Businesses responsibilities and their roles, throughout the industrialized world, have seen a sharp escalation in the social roles corporations are expected to play.

CSR is also a long-term commitment based on an honest strategic effort, results, best practices and driven by transparency to the public. It is interwoven with business strategies and engages with external organizations. It is about measurable transformation, internally and externally, that extracts tangible benefits. Sustainability is more than platitudes and recycling efforts, for recycling is a beginning. It should be able to show financial benefits directly relating to waste reduction, conservation, improvement of internal processes and engagement with externalities (i.e., NGOs, Governments, Customers, Suppliers, etc.).

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 …
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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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