Greening Your Business: Improving the bottom line. Greening Your Business: Improving the Bottom Line. Learning Objectives Find out what sustainability is and what it means to operate a sustainable business. Learn where to start if you’re interested in “greening” your building.
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Improving the bottom line
Improving the Bottom Line
Laura Steinbrink, MBA, LEED-AP
Being green commonly refers to strategies, products and activities aimed at protecting or restoring the planet.
Examples are recycling, waste to energy and non-toxic products.
Is Energy Green?
Being green or doing green is not sustainable if it isn’t profitable, or if it isn’t helpful to people.
Doing things just for the sake of the planet isn’t sustainable.
Sustainability means meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Note: “needs” includes profitability!
What is sustainability?
Sustainable businesses recognize the undeniable connection between people, planet and profit and work to keep all three in balance.
Outperforming their peers
Sources: Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Green to Gold, Harvard Business Review
Recognizing the Cost of Business
Whole systems accounting helps to ensure financial performance is balanced with planet and people
SITUATION OVERVIEW: Restaurant ABC (organic pizza) holds as it mission, “to provide good, flavorful, nutritious food that gives both joy and health, and to share this food with others in ways sustainable to all.” The restaurant is preparing to open its doors for an additional night -- BBQ night. The suggestion was made to consider using paper plates for the BBQ menu. The owner wants to understand whether or not using paper plates is consistent with its mission ‘to share food with others in ways sustainable to all’.
Name First Steps
Celebrate Small Wins
Declare Bold goals
Together, waste and energy can be sources of first steps, small wins and bold goals. Can your waste be someone’s energy or raw material?
Stoneyfield Farms reduced GHG impact from cows by publicly stating the need to address this source of pollution in its value chain – suppliers responded
Know your blind spots
Commit to fix them
Be honest about them
Renew your employee engagement efforts
Reach out to suppliers, customers, non-profits and governments
Employees at Great Lakes Brewery found ways to put their waste to work on local farms
Commitment to learning and exploring
Focusing on reaching common goals
Patagonia uses a network of organic cotton farmers to create competitive advantage
GreenPlus: for small business www.gogreenplus.org
Energy Star: for building energy use www.energystar.gov
LEED: for building construction & operations www.usgbc.org
Global Reporting Initiative: for larger companies www.globalreporting.org
Green Label, Green Seal and others for products
Being green and energy efficient is good
Being sustainable is better
Triple Bottom Line focus results in stronger performance
Whole systems accounting recognizes true costs
Bold goals create transformation
Transparency, engagements and networks support change
By all means, tell the world!