July 26, 2012

Sustainability changes for every organization

Sustainability changes for every organization

Sustainability changes for every organizationClimate and sustainability expert Bob Doppelt wrote a recent article published in Business Review USA, in which he offered up six changes that he said every organization is capable of making to cost-effectively reach sustainability.
Doppelt noted the need to revise the classic "more and cheaper is better" approach to business, offering up an alternative mantra for personal happiness and economic success, saying, "sustainable is better, healthier, morally just - and essential to sustain life on the planet."
Doppelt's six cost-effective changes for sustainability begin with his recommendation for businesses to complete a Life Cycle Analysis to fully explore the effects the company's goods and services have on the environment and society. Then, Doppelt advised undertaking an analysis of the company's carbon footprint for all production facilities, and to simultaneously perform an energy audit. These beginning steps are key for helping companies inexpensively discover where there is room for improvement and new ways to save money.
The next change Doppelt offered up was to hold a company-wide dialogue with the goal to establish clear ethics to help manage the company's activities around sustaining the natural environment.
Fourth on Doppelt's list is arguably his boldest suggestion, telling companies to set an ambitious target - something similar to either increasing efficiency or reducing energy use by 30 percent - in an effort to show commitment to the company's initiatives.
The fifth change is to have the company establish a plan to reduce its use of coal across its value chain, completely eliminating coal use in a period of five to 10 years. Doppelt maintains that this is achievable by transitioning to renewable energy sources such as wind or solar while simultaneously working to increase energy efficiency.
Doppelt's final change involves setting yet another ambitious goal, this time to reduce company waste that goes to landfills through the gradual building up of recycling and reuse at facilities.
Once organizations have gone through Doppelt's six changes, he advises them to then continue approaching goals like these in a similar fashion until they have gone through the company's entire value chain.
Today, companies around the globe recognize the necessity to restructure their sustainability efforts, residential households are making individual efforts to do their parts, and entire cities are taking on the sustainability challenge. For example, a recent article in Peoria new source the Peoria Times described how that city developed a sustainability initiative in 2009 in an effort to counter financial hardships and have "positive, lasting effects" on Peoria's future.

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