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Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Development’

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

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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.

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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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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

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 “Usually, if you’re greening an industrial process, it means you’re turning waste into profit.”
~ Amory Lovins
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William McDonough, one the co-authors of Cradle-to-Cradle that is widely acknowledged a one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time, once said; “You don’t filter smokestacks or water. Instead, you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.” Whether you are designing a new LEED building, designing an end-of-life process or simply integrating CSR into your Strategic Planning framework, the idea is the same; “you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.”

The percentage of companies reporting a profit from their Sustainability efforts rose 23 percent last year, to 37 percent, according to the most recent global study by the MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG[1]).

The extent to which a company incorporates Sustainability concerns into its business model often correlates with its increase in profit, the survey found. For example, 50 percent of respondents said they profited by changing three or four business model elements to reflect more sustainable practices, while 60 percent said they profited by including Sustainability as a permanent fixture in their management agenda[2].

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] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Companies Profit From Embracing Sustainability; MIT Sloan Management Review; March 12, 2013
[2] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Ibid.

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“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)
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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[1].

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.[2]

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] A New Era of Sustainability, UN Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study 2010
[2] 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

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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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“Business as usual is dead. Green growth is the answer to both our climate and economic problems.” ~ Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, 2009
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Engagement is critical in transforming your organization into a Sustainability enterprise, albeit, it will take time, patience and learning from experiences from your people. Engage your employees and make all of your employees accountable. Strong cultures empower their people, they recognize their talents, and give them a very clear role with responsibilities they’re accountable for. General George S. Patton Jr. was interviewed and shared this thought; “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” When these positive changes have been observed, its important to keep the momentum going and celebrate by:
•    Publicly recognizing their work
•    Monetary rewards (bonus, promotion, trips, etc.)
•    Just saying “thank you” also goes a long way

But, employee engagement is more than praise and recognition. It is enriching what your culture already possesses and builds on employee experience, education and personal responsibilities for the environment and social sectors. Sustainability’s future will be driven by a social business model influenced by economic, environmental, social issues, and swayed by generational mores.

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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“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 …
_____________________________________________________________________
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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“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~ Jack Welch
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Companies in all sectors need to prepare themselves for a world where raw materials may be in short supply[1]. Within the next five years, resources will be affected and their shortages will impact industries and products delayed to the marketplace. Most significant will be shortage of food and water. These are only examples, but assuming continued population growth and demand for products, the shortages will become much larger and more critical as we move closer to 2050. The future scenarios are topics of repeated studies and reports that provide insight how business “as usual” will need to adapt. Business models that embrace Sustainability will be better prepared and better positioned to survive major disruptions in resources.

“More and more companies are embracing Sustainability as a cornerstone in their strategy to build competitive advantage. There is clearly strategic thinking going on at the highest level in business and government.”

At the same time, Haugland[2] warns that “there is still a large number of companies that are not acting decisively on Sustainability issues due to the lack of knowledge and organizational capabilities…and ultimately this will lead to winners and losers. Put simply, Sustainability matters to business and those who take it seriously and use it as a source for innovation will prosper in the years ahead[3].”

Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer of SAP. Graf runs the Sustainability business at SAP that creates products to help companies become more Sustainability. He laid out four stages that most companies move through as they use Sustainability principles as a lens to better understand operations and improve efficiency and productivity.

  • First, companies become more aware of how they are using resources like carbon, water, electricity in order to run their businesses in compliance with regulations.
  • Second, companies use the increased awareness to optimize their processes, reaping financial benefits through cost savings and increased productivity.
  • Third, companies leverage Sustainability to differentiate their offerings to the market.
  • Fourth, companies weave Sustainability into their overall corporate strategy, as opposed to simply trumpeting a separate “Sustainability strategy[4].”

Footnotes:
[1] KMPG; Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in a changing world; KPMG International; 2012
[2] DNV’s Chief Operating Officer Bjørn K. Haugland underlines growing interest in sustainability as business case.
[3] Brewer, Stuart; COO beat sustainability drum; DNV (Det Norske Veritas); http://www.dnv.com; 29 Oct 2010; Retrieved: 6 Aug 2013
[4] Woods, Dan; “Four Steps to Improving Profits through Sustainability”, Interview of Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP; Forbes: CIO Network: Mar. 31 2011; Retrieved 31 March 2011

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …

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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/
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Participants from more than seventy countries attended GRI’s previous Conferences in 2006, 2008 and 2010. For the 2013 Conference, GRI aims to increase attendance, uniting over 1500 delegates from business, finance, accountancy, consultancy, civil society, government, labor and academia. Leaders in these fields will share their knowledge on the roles of government, business and civil society in driving change and developing a new vision for sustainable, equitable growth.

Given that future prosperity depends on our collective ability to solve today’s most pressing global challenges, the entire global economy must move towards a more sustainable future,” said Marjolein Baghuis, Director – Communications and Network Relations at GRI.

With the theme of Information – Integration – Innovation, the Conference will give participants new knowledge and insight about sustainability reporting, which can be built on and disseminated to enable a step change to a sustainable future.

To increase transparency and find solutions to sustainability challenges, it is important to stay informed of new trends and developments in the field. Companies and investors need better information to assess risk, measure performance, and identify market opportunities. Governments and consumers need better information to make policy and purchasing decisions. A sustainable global economy will be built on the disclosure of sustainability information, and this important topic will be a key component of the first day of the Conference, setting the agenda for the days to come.

To ensure this new information is utilized in the best way, an integrated strategy is needed. “Integrated thinking will enable companies to factor sustainability into their operations, business models, and measures of success,” said Baghuis. “Collaboration between organizations and stakeholders, across sectors and regions, will mean that shared values and best practices can accelerate change.” Participants will also be inspired to integrate their learning from the interactive sessions on day two, and from the Academic Conference on days two and three.

Creating a sustainable global economy is an innovation challenge. Stakeholder engagement, value creation, community involvement – leading organizations are innovating in these and other important areas. The Conference is taking place at a critical time, when leaders from different constituencies can collaborate to connect up and capitalize on these innovations.

Innovation will also be showcased at the Conference with the launch of the next generation of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines – G4. The culmination of fifteen years of expert and public inputs, G4 aims to offer organizations the fit-for-purpose, common reporting language that we need.

Sustainability reporting is reaching a tipping point. If you want to participate in creating a sustainable global economy, don’t miss out – join GRI at the must-attend sustainability leadership event of 2013.

(Source: Global Reporting Initiative)

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Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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Since the counterculture Sixties, Stewart Brand has been a critical thinker and innovator who helped lay the foundations of our internetworked world.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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