Addressing climate change, increasing profit, growing revenue and creating value are consistent. Reducing carbon, making money and creating value go hand-in-hand.
There is always a business case
Historical practices have separated profit and loss management from environmental performance, treating the latter as a compliance issue. So it is little wonder that business excellence and environmental excellence have evolved in a disconnected manner. This can be fixed.
Good data drives good management decisions. For business and environmental performance, “what gets measured gets managed.” Separate processes for business data and environmental data cost more.
Time is not on our side
Environmental consequences are in your costs now. Science tells us more are coming. Act now to avoid bigger costs and start to adapt. Your employees, your future talent, your investors and your customers already know this.
Innovation and engineering matter
Nature has changes in store for your company and supply chain, and calling your lawyer or lobbyist won’t help. You are going to have to rethink products, redesign supply chains, reconfigure assets, do more with less, cut costs, implement renewable energy and make a profit. You need every engineer, innovator and entrepreneur you can find and most of them don’t work for your company. Some are your customers, suppliers and competitors, some are in your ranks, NGOs, schools and some in your regulatory agencies. You will be surprised how many you don’t employ are willing to help.
There is no status quo
The climate is changing and enough carbon has been released already to commit your company to an operating environment that is different from the world in which you and your company grew up. Whether we collectively choose to act or not, change is already baked in. and can only accelerate. Science predicts scenarios for our future, including one called “business-as-usual” for the scenario where we do not make substantial emissions cuts. Don’t make the mistake of expecting your company and supply chain to experience business-as-usual. All the scenarios predict big changes and figuring out how to operate responsibly and profitably is a serious challenge.
Sustainability professionals talk about two courses of action: mitigation to avoid or reduce the consequences and adaptation to build organizations that survive the changes to come. For companies, actions for mitigation and actions for adaptation are consistent. Avoiding action is not possible and it only becomes a question of orderly, well-timed decisions or reactionary decisions and uncontrolled costs.
Solutions involve people, process and technology
On People: It is not someone else’s job. Responding to the challenges is everyone’s responsibility. Your company already knows that quality, cost management, safety and customer satisfaction are not delegated. Environmental performance is no different. On Process: Good business gets done through well-engineered business processes. Reducing carbon, reducing costs and improving environmental performance are best embedded in your business processes, not bolted-on after-the-fact as a compliance or reporting issue. On Technology: Our best hope. In the right hands doing the right things, technology enables reducing carbon, making operations more resilient and managing data needed for profitable, responsible management.