Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sustainable practices
build bottom lines.

How can you tell which organizations are going to survive?

I want to recommend a Business Week story dated Jan 29, 2007, by Pete Engardio. It was the cover story titled "Beyond the Green Corporation."

The cover text led with this proposition: “Imagine a world in which socially responsible and eco-friendly practices actually boost a company's bottom line. It's closer than you think.”

Much of this article is looking at the green practices of large firms which is fine. There is so much low hanging fruit at these big companies that the smallest gestures on their part can yield significant results.

What Mr. Engardio focuses on nicely is the fact that managements of all sizes are getting smarter about the economic burden of unsustainable practices. Waste costs too damn much and management is getting it quickly.

He quotes Philips Electronics Chief Procurement Officer Barbara Kux, "For us sustainability is a business imperative."

If you’re in those big organizations, charge! Good on ya.

For start ups and emerging enterprises the message is just as necessary. The quiet bonus for the rest of us is that most every enterprise of every shape and size will be looking for help along these lines. Starting yesterday.

This is a big opportunity to create and grow your own new enterprise. It’s a renaissance time of new markets. The demand for services and products that increase efficiency and strengthen sustainability will flourish. In summary, pick a problem and fix it.

What is a nice theme to emerge from the Business Week story, is the suggestion that smart, sustainable business practices can be good at predicting who is growing into the future and who is fighting it.

I like the way the Mr. Engardio closes his Business Week story (except that smart green tech DOES help next quarter’s numbers)…

"Such laudable efforts, even if successful, may not help managers make their numbers next quarter. But amid turbulent global challenges, they could help investors sort long-term survivors from the dinosaurs.


Business week article

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