Posts Tagged ‘Business’

“He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” ~Leonardo Da Vinci

Today’s businesses face a constantly changing landscape that will force closer collaboration between businesses and their community through Sustainability initiatives. Solid partnership between business and community groups will not happen overnight. There are too many changes in strategy, culture, organization and processes. Yet it is a critical shift beyond just environmental considerations to become a key contributor to the value of the community. For those Sustainable Developed strategies, stakeholders must take an active part in strategic planning and day-to-day execution.

Companies will continue to be under pressure to generate value in the Sustainability portfolio that pays the way to operational efficiencies, growth and innovation to increase a competitive advantage. This is only be realized to strong integration that places business value at the center. Collaborative customer centric strategies, supported by Sustainable Develop strategies chosen for the return it will provide, will become the rule rather than the exception. Sustainability will be the model for business in the 21st-century.

The road to these new Business models and strategies is not an easily journey. But neither can it be avoided. Companies that began taking the first steps towards strengthening their business with Sustainability solutions, Business partnerships and move strategically towards tomorrow’s more flexible strategies will be favorably positioned for continued success and growth. Sustainability is an evolutionary process and builds on previous stages of development:

• First, Sustainability is a new mindset and focuses on awareness how resources are used, wastes created and compliance with regulations.

• Second, understanding leads to elimination of waste. This conviction will be a key driver, encouraging optimization of processes as an underpinning to successful Sustainability, reaping costs savings and increased productivity.

• Third, leverage your Sustainability effort to differentiate your products. Build a closer relationship with existing Customers to address their needs and differentiate new products for new customers.

• Fourth, interleave Sustainability throughout your corporate strategies (Operations, IT, Marketing etc) and create a comprehensive single “Sustainability strategy” for both external and internal communities.

• Fifth, promote and refine your aspirational strategies for philanthropy (e.g., breast cancer, military vet programs, diseases, etc), restoration (e.g., wetlands, reforestations, etc.), other social and environmental issues. For those efforts will reflect on your brand image, but remind yourself that continued optimization is ongoing for a Sustainable enterprise, not a one time goal.


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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“Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.”  ~ Theodore Roosevelt, Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907

Ethics and Stewardship are the fundamental moral principles that drive and mold your Core Assets. Your internalized ethics and commitment to Stewardship establishes a basis for your corporate culture. That culture provide the corporate guidance, direction and boundaries for acceptable behavior and limits decisions that are consider unethical, irresponsible or illegal in the communities which you operate. As previously discussed, Core Assets are interlinked with your culture and transform those values into actions and results throughout your organization.

Create a Vision, understand the elements and principles of Sustainability and how that would apply to your business. Your business is unique, it may be similar to your competition. Make it distinct and differentiate yourself from the pack. Integrating Sustainability will make your organization truly unique from end-to-end. It will you give you a better perspective, viewed through a lens that includes not only internal viewpoints, but external aspects of outside influences. As a leader of Sustainability you have a unique opportunity to lead your enterprise through a fresh Vision, based on Ethics, that is a Commitment to Sustainability. Your Core Assets will be driven by business values recognizing that Sustainability align to the needs of the present without sacrificing resources for future generation’s needs. It challenges your ideals beyond your brick and mortar walls and it is a role that legacies are made from.

In a real example, IBM reflects this approach. Based on a recent study from IBM, today’s CEOs are “learning while leading”. Of those surveyed, say their organization must exhibit three key characteristics: 61% must be “customer obsessed”, 60% want an “inspirational leadership”, and 58 % want “leadership teaming”. CEOs must differentiate their organizations.[1]
•    Today’s Customers are looking for Sustainability factors in your products.
•    Sustainability is a catalyst to move closer to all externalities and Suppliers would be a good beginning for that innovation.
•    Engage your employees to develop shared values. Allow your organization to collectively develop its core values.

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

[1] Leading Through Connections 2012 – IBM Corporation, pg. 15, Retrieved: 11 December 2012

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“People only see what they are prepared to see.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

[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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“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

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


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


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No other time in history has mankind seen the probable future of the planet and will be judged by his actions to preserve it.
~ Ralph Jarvis

I wanted to express my deep appreciation for those interested in the completion of my new book. Thank you so much for your interest for it, which often encouraged me to bring this second book to fruition. Here is an update to my publish timeline: I plan on publishing the book in the October – November 2103 timeframe.

It will be available on Amazon and compliments the first book, “Any Questions?!” That book was the first primer to address the union of Sustainability and Lean Six Sigma practices woven onto business strategies to eliminate waste.

I completed this first book, “Any Questions?!”, which is the first leadership primer that fuses Sustainability with the Lean Six Sigma. The book, available through Amazon and Kindle, is design to be used in lecture, web, or workshop environments. This is what others, who have reviewed the book, recommend:

“This is not a book on theory.  Rather,  “Any Questions?” is a leader’s reference for Lean Six Sigma application and the creation of a true 21st century, sustainable, and competitive organization.  ~ Walter W. Casey, PhD

“This is not a ‘how to of Lean Six Sigma’ it is a ‘why to of Lean Six Sigma’.  We are in a time when calculated change is necessary and inevitable. Taking a data driven concept and intertwining that with people and operations is Mr. Jarvis’ outline for success.  You might expect a typical ‘dry Lean Six Sigma read’, but instead you will find a book on effective leadership.”  ~ Traci Bernard, President

“For anyone tasked with the implementation of strategic plans, either for a whole organization or an individual business unit this book is a valuable resource.”  ~ David Sutherland, CTO

As mentioned previously, “Any Questions?!” was a ‘why to of Lean Six Sigma’. The new book is designed to provide an understanding to “why Sustainability transformation” of a company. Why change to Sustainability? What is the value for business to change its enterprise? Why change to Lean Six Sigma? Why would you want to combine both concepts? Why is Sustainability a long-term Commitment and why it promotes a better future?

Senior leadership needs to focus on a Vision that can be controlled and that can be affected. Elimination of waste is key for both Sustainability and Quality, regardless of your maturity level. Remember, Sustainability and Quality are long-term commitments, but benefit your enterprise for different reasons.

Deming’s original groundbreaking intellectual capital was a keystone to future growth and application of Qaulity. However, from Deming’s point of view, Quality initiatives are not simply dismissed after a crisis. Deming become frustrated with American executives when most programs for statistical quality control were terminated once World War II and government contracts came to an end.

However, the new book establishes the value proposition that the “spine” of Sustainability is fused with Lean Six Sigma to target and eliminate waste, internally and externally. The book walks you through CXOs perspectives to those targeted areas that need remediation. The final result is tangible bottom line benefits while improving brand image and recognizing corporate responsibilities in term of economic, environmental and social spheres.

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/

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Your leadership provides the vision for the future and enlisting employee-led procedures, processes and effective innovation for now and the future. Leading your people by empowering them with skills and knowledge is a critical success factor for transformation.

“”There should be a focus on integrated reporting of CSR and financial results, which could bring about an alignment of Sustainability with economic performance.”  ~ Fulvio Conti, Enel S.p.A.

CEOs see Sustainability shifting from a choice to a corporate priority. Sustainability leadership and culture embeds CSR into how employees and executives think about strategy and execution. Recent economic downturn raised importance of sustainability as an issue for top management to 80 percent[1].

[1] Aman Singh, New Survey: CEOs See Sustainability Shifting From Choice To Corporate Priority, Forbes,6/23/2010


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Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading US companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 13 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly 1/3 of the total value of the US stock market best more than $114 billion annually in research and development –  nearly half of all private US R&D spending. Those companies pay more than $179 billion in dividends to shareholders. The BRT companies get nearly $9 billion a year in combined her contributions. (Source: Business Roundtable for 2011)

Serve your Customers, for they are the driving force for survivability. Eliminate Waste, both internally and externally. Collaboration is vital communication. Focus on your Core Assets. Be Transparent and verify your Tangible Benefits.

Accurately measure effectiveness of your strategies. Provide the underpinnings:

  • Lean Accounting, Sustainability Accounting and aligning IT efforts to capture your data elements.
  • Engage you auditors and listen to their improvements. These processes are your company’s linchpins to the “golden thread”.
  • They must work in harmony with the marketplace to ensure success for new possibilities in the present and in the future.

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Daniel Libeskind builds on very big ideas. Here, he shares 17 words that underlie his vision for architecture — raw, risky, emotional, radical — and that offer inspiration for any bold creative pursuit.

“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.” ~ Daniel Libeskind

Being a designer of breathtaking and sometimes confounding buildings seems almost a footnote to the amazing life of architect Daniel Libeskind.

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This was a published press release by KPMG, and outlines the ten megaforces which will shape the commercial landscape for the next 20 years. Articles, reposts and videos, in this category, will relate to current and possible future impact of these ten megaforces.

The KPMG study, Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World, explores issues such as climate change, energy and fuel volatility, water availability and cost and resource availability, as well as population growth spawning new urban centers. The analysis examines how these global forces may impact business and industry, calculates the environmental costs to business, and calls for business and policymakers to work more closely to mitigate future business risk and act on opportunities.
Michael Andrew, Chairman of KPMG International, said: “We are living in a resource-constrained world. The rapid growth of developing markets, climate change, and issues of energy and water security are among the forces that will exert tremendous pressure on both business and society.”
“We know that governments alone cannot address these challenges. Business must take a leadership role in the development of solutions that will help to create a more sustainable future. By leveraging its ability to enhance processes, create efficiencies, manage risk, and drive innovation, business will contribute to society and long-term economic growth.”
The KPMG research finds that the external environmental costs, which today are often not shown on financial statements**, of 11 key industry sectors jumped 50 percent from US$566 to US$846 billion in 8 years (2002 to 2010), averaging a doubling of these costs every 14 years.

The 10 global sustainability megaforces that may impact business over the next two decades are:

  1. Climate Change: This may be the one global megaforce that directly impacts all others. Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range between 1 percent per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5 percent a year–if policymakers fail to act.
  2. Energy & Fuel: fossil fuel markets are likely to become more volatile and unpredictable because of higher global energy demand; changes in the geographical pattern of consumption; supply and production uncertainties and increasing regulatory interventions related to climate change.
  3. Material Resource Scarcity: as developing countries industrialize rapidly, global demand for material resources is predicted to increase dramatically. Business is likely to face increasing trade restrictions and intense global competition for a wide range of material resources that become less easily available. Scarcity also creates opportunities to develop substitute materials or to recover materials from waste.
  4. Water Scarcity: it is predicted that by 2030, the global demand for freshwater will exceed supply by 40 percent. Businesses may be vulnerable to water shortages, declines in water quality, water price volatility, and to reputational challenges.
  5. Population Growth: The world population is expected to grow to 8.4 billion by 2032. This will place intense pressures on ecosystems and the supply of natural resources such as food, water, energy and materials. While this is a threat for business, there are also opportunities to grow commerce and create jobs, and to innovate to address the needs of growing populations for agriculture, sanitation, education, technology, finance, and healthcare.
  6. Wealth: the global middle class (defined by the OECD as individuals with disposable income of between US$10 and US$100 per capita per day) is predicted to grow 172 percent between 2010 and 2030. The challenge for businesses is to serve this new middle class market at a time when resources are likely to be scarcer and more price volatile. The advantages many companies experienced in the last two decades from “cheap labor” in developing nations are likely to be eroded by the growth and power of the global middle class.
  7. Urbanization: in 2009, for the first time ever, more people lived in cities than in the countryside. By 2030 all developing regions including Asia and Africa are expected to have the majority of their inhabitants living in urban areas; virtually all Population Growth over the next 30 years will be in cities. These cities will require extensive improvements in infrastructure including construction, water and sanitation, electricity, waste, transport, health, public safety and internet and cell phone connectivity.
  8. Food Security: in the next two decades the global food production system will come under increasing pressure from megaforces including Population Growth, Water Scarcity and Deforestation. Global food prices are predicted to rise 70 to 90 percent by 2030. In water-scarce regions, agricultural producers are likely to have to compete for supplies with other water-intensive industries such as electric utilities and mining, and with consumers. Intervention will be required to reverse growing localized food shortages (the number of chronically under-nourished people rose from 842 million during the late 1990s to over one billion in 2009).
  9. Ecosystem Decline: historically, the main business risk of declining biodiversity and ecosystem services has been to corporate reputations. However, as global ecosystems show increasing signs of breakdown and stress, more companies are realizing how dependent their operations are on the critical services these ecosystems provide. The decline in ecosystems is making natural resources scarcer, more expensive and less diverse; increasing the costs of water and escalating the damage caused by invasive species to sectors including agriculture, fishing, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and tourism.
  10. Deforestation: Forests are big business – wood products contributed $100 billion per year to the global economy from 2003 to 2007 and the value of non-wood forest products, mostly food, was estimated at about US$18.5 billion in 2005. Yet the OECD projects that forest areas will decline globally by 13 percent from 2005 to 2030, mostly in South Asia and Africa. The timber industry and downstream industries such as pulp and paper are vulnerable to potential regulation to slow or reverse deforestation. Companies may also find themselves under increasing pressure from customers to prove that their products are sustainable through the use of certification standards. Business opportunities may arise through the development of market mechanisms and economic incentives to reduce the rate of deforestation.


Press Release, KPMG, Sustainability “Megaforces” Impact on Business Will Accelerate, Finds KPMG, 14 Feb 2012; Retrieved: 14 Feb 2012

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The following article was published by ReliablePlant and written by Herb Lichtenberg. This is a well written article that provides good information regarding the value of “lean”, “lean thinking”, “lean manufacturing” and “lean enterprise” concepts.  Several themes reverberate throughout: over-production, inventory, transportation, waiting, movement, defects and over-processing. I hope this article proves helpful, and please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.

Lean” has assailed our vocabulary the same way that it has attacked waste within a plant or process. From “lean thinking” to “lean enterprise” and “lean manufacturing,” the word has created many catchphrases. But what does it mean to be “lean”? It entails shedding waste in order to reduce costs and increase competitiveness.

The two most popular process improvement methodologies in use today, lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, originated at Toyota and Motorola, respectively. These pioneering companies are discrete manufacturers. Not surprisingly, the subsequent evolution and development of these two methodologies has focused mostly on improvements in discrete manufacturing. Each methodology has a central focus that has been the basis for its structure and tools. For lean, it’s the delivery of value to the customer through the elimination of waste – anything that is non-value added from the customer’s perspective. For Six Sigma, the central focus is the elimination of defects – products or services that do not conform to the customer’s specifications. Read more …

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