Tag Archives: sustainability economics sustainable development earthsayers supply chain Ernst and Young planet

Sustainability as a Strategy, Not a Program

ADVOCACYAt the eighth annual Corporate Philanthropy Summit hosted by the CECP this past June in New York City the bywords were collaboration, systemic change, advocacy and sustainability as reported online in “on Philanthropy” by Elisabeth Anderson, Shannon Bond & Erica Pagan.

It’s good to see sustainability on the short list along with one of its elements – systemic change- and two keywords or practices, collaboration and advocacy, but basically its strategic importance as the business and investment strategy is not understood as reflected in this meeting report.

From the article it seems that what was meant by sustainability was making their contributions sustainable with no indication of the vital role they could be making in driving sustainability principles and practices at all levels from the personal to the global.

I just don’t think it’s going to be business as usual ever again and if the anticipated “new growth” referenced in the article is not based on sustainable development principles and the Internet used effectively for collaboration and advocacy, our citizens are in big trouble as is our planet. It’s not just the climate that’s a big problem.

Sustainability needs to be a strategy not a program. It needs to be the strategy that drives all programs, all investments.  Advocacy focused on supporting the cause of sustainability nets big changes precisely because it brings a focus to collaborative efforts, all of us need to be on the same page at the strategic level.

Dell beats HP and IBM on CSI Benchmark Report

Technology Business Research’s Brad Allen, director of the Global Business Sustainability Service, stated that “CSI leadership underscores a corporation’s commitment to sustainability in its business models and practices. By embedding sustainability into the core business fabric, organizations gain competitive advantage and environmental equity, contributing to overall corporate value.”

So what’s CSI Leadership all about?

The inaugural Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) Benchmark Report evaluates the environmental metrics of 40 companies within the computer hardware, software, professional services, and network and telecommunications sectors.

With an overall score of 317.9, Dell bested firms such as British Telecom (265.2), IBM (NYSE: IBM)(258.5), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) (255.1), scoring particularly well in areas of renewable energy, recycling and embedded sustainability strategy.

See more complete article at sustainable business.com.

Searching But Not Finding

A must read is Deloitte study, Finding the Green in Today’s Shoppers: Sustainability Trends and New Shopper Insights.

In retail it’s not just location, location, location. It’s also about price and availability and in terms of the latter, companies marketing green and sustainability products and services need to listen up to a major finding in the study:

Sustainability’s appeal to shoppers is already large. Nearly all shoppers surveyed would buy green; nearly two thirds actively seek it on each shopping trip. However, since only 22 percent of the shoppers surveyed actually ?nd and buy the green products that interest them, the latent, unful?lled demand for sustainability-enhanced products must be immense. “

And as a reminder, these “Green Shoppers are a large, high-value segment of importance to retailers and many manufacturers. Green shoppers visit stores more frequently, buy more products on each trip, and demonstrate more brand and retailer loyalty.”

The already converted among consumers are NOT finding reliable information at point of purchase and are leaving empty handed or worse yet, with ecologically-impaired products. Maybe it’s time for the green business leaders to take on a less “conversion” language, be more inclusive, and make substantial investments in POP and Web-based consumer education programs. And do so in concert with members of the supply chain, especially the sales channels.

I recall hearing in a speech a year ago by Mark Lee, CEO of the consulting company, sustainability.com that work at the level of consumer education was a situation waiting to happen. It may be that as we move from “branded organizations” to a value on “authentic organizations” marketing resources will be invested in the right places and with more fact, and less emotion.

We started EarthSayers.tv, the voices of sustainability, to bring educational resources, the unfiltered voices of experts, business leaders, and citizens from all walks of life to those initiating a search, and beginning the learning cycle, on Google for the term, sustainability. We wanted to focus on finding, rather than searching, while using the power of search engines such as Blinkx.

It turns out that searching and not finding is rife throughout the entire buying cycle.

Ernst & Young Survey: Supply Chain Sustainability

“Our survey of executives from US$1bn-plus corporations, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, indicates a high level of awareness of sustainability. Companies appreciate the opportunities it offers within the supply chain, coupled with concerns over the cost and complexity of addressing it.

Reputation, cost reduction and revenue growth were the top three opportunities cited by more than half of respondents. The greatest risk is believed to be an increased cost base.”