Items tagged with sustainability
Nike recently launched a free app available for designers and consumers to use to compare the environmental impacts of various fabrics such as silk, polypropylene, leather, linen and more. Using cotton as a comparison material, users can see ratings under categories of chemistry, water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, waste, recycled, organic and a basic material score. I’ve downloaded the app and discovered that “the touch, the feel of cotton” gets rather beat up in the scoring. Spandex does even worse since it produces 158% more waste than cotton and silk uses 50% l
The hospitality industry has greatly ramped up sustainability efforts in recent years. Early on hotels found ways to cut costs and operate efficiently by saving water and energy. Today’s efforts are far more sophisticated and cross into every aspect of a hotel from its buildings, laundry, restaurants, golf courses, spas, housekeeping, guest services and technology systems.
GreenBiz.com recently launched their sixth annual State of Green Business 2013 report. Partnering with leading research firm, Trucost, this year’s report has enhanced data and a greater global scope. Trucost works to place a value on the natural capital and a price on pollution and use of resources. Many of the companies analyzed report cost savings and greater innovation through better supply-chain resource management.
If we don’t first shift our thinking and reshape our old perspectives, we can’t change behaviors, foster innovation or create new solutions. We must disrupt the very mindsets and behaviors that have lead to current successes in order to continue to be successful.
Company leaders are realizing that being more sustainable isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s good for business. Those who have been operating sustainably for longer periods of time were 50% more likely than the newcomers to say their efforts contribute to profitability. In reality, responsibility will create a strategic advantage yielding sustainable prosperity if the correct steps are taken.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives; nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin
A few days ago I participated as a panelist in AkzoNobel’s second annual Sustainability Leadership Symposium moderated by Deborah Steketee, Ph.D. of the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids MI.
While there are still companies out there who believe in the great trade-off myth, the reality is that ethical companies outperform others over the long term. In it’s “WME Index,” Ethisphere showed how the publicly traded companies on their 2011 World’s Most Ethical Company list outperformed the S&P 500 between 2007 – 2011 – even in the midst of a global recession.
I had the pleasure of having lunch this week with Stephen Brereton, Consul General of the Consulate General of Canada. Our conversation revealed many similarities shared by the U.S. and Canada around sustainable development. In the midst of today’s economic struggles, it’s not surprising that citizens in both countries put the economy and jobs as top priorities, followed by education and healthcare, and somewhere around fifth place (or so, depending on where you live and your perspectives) the environment comes on the list.