“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” ~ Richard Buckminster Fuller (US engineer and architect)
As a methodology that pursued to improve an enterprise, Sustainability has been available for about two decades. Its savings come from reducing wastes, conserving energy and water; while ensuring compliance. On the other hand, Quality has been applied and institutionalized in corporations around the globe for over a century. Its savings come from removing waste of time, eliminating defects, identifying where the issues are, and fixing it one time to eliminate “fire fighting”. Why wouldn’t any executive want to consider Sustainability with Qaulity as the spine for expanding that functionality? A survey from the UN Global Compact and Accenture found what contemporary CEOs are thinking:
• 96% of CEOs believe that Sustainability issues should be fully integrated into the strategy and operations of a company.
• 93% of CEOs believe that Sustainability issues will be critical to the future success of their business.
• 91% of CEOs report that their company will employ new technologies to address Sustainability issues over the next five years.
• 88% of CEOs believe that they should be integrating through their supply chain.
• 86% of CEOs believe see “accurate valuation by investors of Sustainability in long-term investments” as important to reaching the tipping point in Sustainability.
From a Sustainability viewpoint, your organization must recognize how it may be detrimental to the environment and society, but more importantly how those behaviors and practices are costly to your enterprise. The acknowledgement of this waste may be surprising. That means looking at a variety of Sustainability considerations (waste, carbon footprint, water, energy, etc.) that are present in your organization and aware to those living in the community.
Now, let us look at the Quality perspective (e.g., Lean and Six Sigma). These methodologies remove other wastes from your organization and compliments your efforts with eliminating Sustainability wastes. In a business context, it is removing other unwanted wastes, unwanted logistics, improving Customer relations, etc. and often times compliment certifications, whether ongoing or planned.
It also ensures that changes are not adrift, but secured and retain gains already identified. Peter Drucker is remembered by this famous quote; “You can only manage what you can measure.” By measuring refinements changes, by your projects that are effectively implemented, your true gains will hit your bottom line. Remember this simple equation for each project:
Optimizing Profitability = Sustainable Development + Quality +Continuous Improvement + Secured Gains
The results address current CEOs beliefs, as well as, uncovering new opportunities that had not been anticipated. Strategies will be better integrated, establish a common understanding of how Sustainability and Qaulity will be critical to their success in the future, leverage new technology, integrate methodologies into supply chain processes, and favorably impact the financial investment image of your corporation. As Drucker also said; “What’s measured improves.”
Sustainability indicators have proliferated globally. More than 3,500 organizations in more than 60 countries, for example, use the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) voluntary Sustainability standards report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. Sustainability and related certification standards have met important needs. They have heightened corporations’ awareness of their impact on society and triggered meaningful improvements in social and environmental performance.
This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
 A New Era of Sustainability, UN Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study 2010
 Porter, Michael E.; Hills, Greg; Pfitzer, Marc; Patscheke, Sonja and Hawkins, Elizabeth; Measuring Shared Value
How to Unlock Value by Linking Social and Business Results; June 2011, p. 9