Every business should adopt green principles
Sustainable business, or a green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact, or potentially a positive effect, on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies.
In general, business is described as green if it matches the following four criteria:
1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
2. It supplies environmentally friendly products or a service that replaces demand for no green products and/or services.
3. It is greener than traditional competition.
4. It has made an enduring commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.
A sustainable business is any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address current environmental concerns while maintaining a profit. In other words, it is a business that “meets the needs of the present [world] without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is the process of assessing how to design products that will take advantage of the current environmental situation and how well a company’s products perform with renewable resources. A major initiative of sustainable businesses is to eliminate or decrease the environmental harm caused by the production and consumption of their goods. The impact of such human activities in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced can be measured in units of carbon dioxide and is referred to as the carbon footprint. The carbon footprint concept is derived from ecological footprint analysis, which examines the ecological capacity required to support the consumption of products.
Today, most, if not all, businesses recognize that climate change is a problem. Some are making attempts to solve the problem, resulting in a wave of sustainability, climate change, and environmental projects.
An organizational perspective, going green offers employees, contractors, volunteers, and other members the opportunity to influence the green movement. The challenge is to create the correct approach to involve these people – one that includes teaching, convincing, communicating, enabling, supporting, and encouraging participation in the green process. Mandating change is rarely a recipe for success. Organizations must engage their people and position processes for successful green implementation. The sheer number of green projects and initiatives, and the fact that not everyone is buying into the issues, brings into focus the need for results. Many individuals do not see the need for action because they do not understand the issues or know what they can do to help. Some people don't understand green projects and sustainability efforts, feel inconvenienced by them, think projects have a negative effect on them, or perceive projects to require unrealistic investment. Too many organizations are currently caught in what may be called a green slump, struggling to engage in green projects and making far less progress than is actually required. A reliable measurement and evaluation system will help organizations manage green and sustainability projects so that they improve and thrive. In addition, the measurement approach should provide credible data for decision makers. Organizations must adopt a results-based, return on investment (ROI) focus that helps them identify, develop, and implement green projects that add value from an economic, environmental, and societal perspective. They need a green scorecard. To date, the number one motivator for organizations to implement green projects is the image it presents to the public. Organizations want their constituents, consumers, employees, stakeholders, and any other observers to view them as environmentally friendly.
There are many examples of the economic value of going green. In 1994, Interface founder and Chairman Ray Anderson set a goal for his commercial carpet company: to take nothing from the earth that could not be replaced by it. At the time, carpet manufacturing was a toxic, petroleum-based process that released immense amounts of air and water pollution and created tons of waste. Fifteen years later, Anderson's call for change at Interface has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82%, cut fossil fuel consumption by 60%, cut waste by 66% and cut water use by 75%.
Interface has invented and patented new machines, materials, and manufacturing processes, increased sales by 66%, doubled earnings, and raised profit margins.
Progressive companies are rewarding stakeholders for being involved in green efforts. For example, in 2008, Southern Company launched Earth Cents programs. These programs include new and existing programs and educational efforts to help reduce residential and commercial energy consumption.
According to Susan Story, CEO of Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, the benefits of Earth Cents include not only wise use of energy, but also reduction of costs that hit the pocket of their customers. In addition, shareholders are rewarded because corporate costs are reduced and capital expenditures are avoided.
In 2009, when Mike Duke took over as CEO of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, which uses more electricity than any other private organization in the world and has the second largest haulage company, his message to employees in a time of recession covered the expected topics about providing good service, keeping costs low, and beating the competition. But he also talked about sustainability.
Sustainability is becoming more important for all companies, across all industries. 62% of executives consider a sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive today, and another 22% think it will be in the future. Simply put, sustainability is a business approach to creating long-term value by taking into consideration how a given organization operates in the ecological, social and economic environment. Sustainability is built on the assumption that developing such strategies fosters company longevity. As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase, and as transparency becomes more prevalent, companies are recognizing the need to act on sustainability. Professional communications and good intentions are no longer enough.
The following industry leaders illustrate what sustainability initiatives look like:
Nike and Adidas have both stepped up seriously. Nike has focused on reducing waste and minimizing its footprint, whereas Adidas has created a greener supply chain and targeted specific issues like dyeing and eliminating plastic bags.
Unilever and Nestlé have both taken on major commitments; Unilever notably on organic palm oil and its overall waste and resource footprint, and Nestlé in areas such as product life cycle, climate, water efficiency and waste.
Wal-Mart, IKEA and H&M have moved toward more sustainable retailing, largely by leading collaboration across their supply chains to reduce waste, increase resource productivity and optimize material usage. It also has taken steps to address local labor conditions with suppliers from emerging markets.
Pepsi and Coca-Cola have both developed ambitious agendas, such as increasing focus on water stewardship and setting targets on water replenishment.
In biopharma, Biogen and Novo Nordisk have both worked toward energy efficiency, waste reduction, and other ecological measures. They have also focused on social impact via partner initiatives in the areas of health and safety.
These firms have all made strong commitments to sustainability, in large part through transparency and addressing material issues. They are embarking on a more sustainable journey, and all firms should follow suit over the next decade.
Sustainable development is one of the most well-known concepts of the latter half of the twentieth century. Tourism has greatly affected the sustainability of local environments, economies and communities. It has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries, with almost all of the world’s nations encouraging its growth. With traditional tourist destinations becoming less popular places of outstanding natural beauty, particularly in developing countries, have to respond to the pressures of providing good quality yet competitive resorts. Development for tourism is often required quickly and, due to the poor economy of many of these destinations, the costs need to remain low. This often compromises the sustainability of the development, and protecting and preserving the environment is often overlooked as an expensive and time consuming task.
Article · January 2009 published by (Jemma Purandare) Tourism in the Maldives is the main industry and provides a significant percentage of the country‟s GDP. The Maldives‟ equatorial climate and coralline geology provides a majority of the coastline with white sandy beaches and some of the most ecologically important coral reefs in the world. As a result of its natural beauty the Maldives attracts an increasing number of international tourists each year, and to accommodate the increasing numbers resorts are being constructed at an increasing speed. As the environment is fragile due to its isolated and exposed position, ecosystems have had to adapt to the extreme conditions and disturbance to them may cause irreversible damage. With tourism development in the Maldives only occurring within the last thirty years, practices are still fairly experimental and only a few of the existing resorts are successfully sensitive and sustainable environmentally.
STORY BY PAUL CHAI Published on February 19, 2019. The tiny atolls of the Maldives draw luxury lovers from all over the world, but these low-lying collections of sand will also be the first to be affected by the rising sea levels and coral bleaching of climate change. It therefore makes sense that many of the region’s luxury resorts are carving out a niche as leaders in sustainable and Eco-friendly tourism. The eight resorts are leading the way in preserving the area in Maldives in 2019.