Environmental bridging means understanding the environmental threats and opportunities for your business, and developing your business strategy to improve both business performance and environmental performance.
Businesses face a bewildering landscape of environmental issues. How should they tackle them when commercial priorities have never been higher? We show here how companies can build a bridge between business priorities and environmental priorities, to deliver benefits for both.
Most CEOs have environmental issues on their priority list – 73% according to a recent McKinsey survey. They see not only potential threats that can’t be ignored, but increasingly some big opportunities. But, many are wary of engaging with environmentalists for fear they are pressured towards environmental sustainability at the expense of commercial results.
Experienced in both business and environmental worlds, Red Kite Enterprise and Environment have created a framework to help executives identify their environmental threats and opportunities, and link them to their business strategy to improve both environmental performance and commercial performance.
We call this “Environmental Bridging”.
Climate and Resources
Climate change may change buying habits or can come with extreme weather – as Vodafone discovered when it had to evacuate its flooded HQ in 2007. Many raw materials are limited: would shortages or price rises pose a risk for your business?
As the public becomes aware of environmental impacts their purchasing choices can change, sometimes overnight as producers of unsustainable tuna and palm oil have found.
Regulatory and NGO
European, national and local governments can act to protect the environment by imposing regulations like WEEE(1) or REACH(2) or taxes like CO2 tax bands for cars. Non-Government Organisations like Greenpeace can have a big effect on policy.
An environmental perspective can identify cost savings not spotted before, in operations and procurement. Defra estimates UK companies can save £23bn(3) with low or no costs.
There are many great success stories of environment-friendly products and marketing from Pret A Manger sandwiches to Bosch white goods. What could be possible in your industry?
Doing good for the environment helps attract, motivate and retain the best people, it can even help develop a more empowered culture. And there can be health and productivity benefits of getting your people into the natural environment.
(1) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
(2) Directive on Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals
(3) The Further Benefits of Business Resource Efficiency, March 2011