Zen Stones White template - University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Lay of the Land for 2010
Tom Eggert
WI Sustainable Business Council,
WI School of Business
& WI Department of Natural Resources
608 267-2761
[email protected]
What Matters?
• Dealing with limited ecological capacity is
arguably the most important business
challenge facing companies in the 21st
• Conversely, the most exciting opportunity
for business in the 21st century involves
developing strategies and models that
allow businesses to engage customers
that were never on the radar screen.
Public Perception Matters
• The public’s interest in “green” or
“sustainability” continues to grow.
• There is increasing interest within
supply chains in sustainability
• An increasing percent of the
population factors sustainability into
their actual purchasing decisions
Why embrace sustainability?
• The drivers of sustainability are:
– Related to long term business success (they
are inter-related with traditional aspects of
strategy development)
– Surviving the economic downturn
– Consistently of interest to stakeholders
• Employees value companies that commit
to sustainability
• Potential employees view companies
with a commitment to sustainability more
Sustainability initiatives should
be an integral part of financial
• When pursuing sustainability initiatives,
– Unearth opportunities to reduce costs
– Create new revenue streams
– Attract new customers
– Develop more innovative business models
• The majority of Fortune 500 companies
now integrate financial analysis with
environmental, social, and governance
(ESG) issues.
Strategically integrating
sustainability into your
Companies should be creating a clear
business case for sustainability.
• As part of the business case, alternative
business models should be developed.
• A new business model might include
– products of service,
– sustainable mobility,
– reducing transportation of raw materials and
– lean manufacturing, and
– the use of regional manufacturing and
liabilities are real
• The liabilities associated with climate change
pose a threat to senior management and
• It is in a company’s financial interest to focus on
reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas
• Companies should also be focusing on
decreasing exposure to environmental liabilities,
such as superfund sites, spills, toxic releases
and responsibility for products after their useful
life is done.
Lead with your actions, not your
• “Greenwashing" has no place in a company that is
serious about its future.
• One way to discern the difference between a
company's green rhetoric and real action is to look
at the composition of its revenues.
• Companies should be increasing the revenue
derived from:
ecologically superior [more efficient] product lines,
evolving green product lines,
investments in energy security,
innovative transportation and distribution strategies, and
products and services designed for the developing
Moving forward
• Leading companies understand
and articulate sustainability’s
impact on their organization.
• A robust business case for
sustainability can be created.
• Understanding the challenges and
limitations that are facing us is
really important.
There is no Federal Reserve
or lender of last resort for
natural resources
• As the financial crisis unfolded and huge institutions
imploded, the response from policymakers was to print
• When faced with the most serious economic crisis since
the 1930s, the answer was, "There's an app for that."
• Print and borrow money, dole it out, and save the
• Unfortunately, while it is possible to borrow money, at
least for a while, there is not another set of ecosystems
from which we can borrow ecological capacity.
Environmental issues have
been translated into human
health concerns
• Familiar toxic acronyms of the 1990s, like DDT
and PCBs were replaced by new acronyms like
PVC, PBDEs, phthalates and the real headlinegrabber, BPA
• The connections between food and human
health have given rise to an explosion of interest
in organic and local food movements.
• This emphasis on purity and regionalism is just
starting to impact industries in other sectors.
Father does NOT always
know best
• For once and for all, let's set aside the outdated
illusion that a bunch of financiers on Wall Street
really know best about everything/anything.
• The fundamental economic principles underlying
the risk and return assumptions governing Wall
Street have changed little since World War II, yet
the world is completely different today and faces a
whole new set of challenges and opportunities.
• New models are being explored by folks like Bill
Gates and Bill Clinton.
The future is now
• Ecological limits are not going to happen
• The environment is not a subset of the
economy; rather the economy is a social
convention that exists within the reality of the
environment. Ignoring the environment while
focusing on the economy is bad for both.
• From a business perspective, there will be
winners and losers. Losers may whine, but
ultimately will adapt or die.
• Business strategies must account for
ecological risks and opportunities.
Available Tools
• The WI DNR’s Green Tier program is a
reward/recognition/support program for companies
interested in sustainability.
• The WI Sustainable Business Council’s Green Masters
program is a reward/recognition program for companies
starting down the road toward sustainability.
• Focus on Energy is a statewide energy assistance
program that can provide both auditing and rebates.
• M-Powering Madison offers a 5 step program for
companies to get started with sustainability.
• The Partnerships for Sustainability program is a technical
assistance and recognition program for companies
interested in sustainability.
THE WI DNR’s Green Tier
• Green Tier encourages companies to think
creatively about ways they can improve
environmental performance while increasing
productivity, lowering costs, and growing as a
business. The program seeks to recognize,
support and reward “leadership” companies by
providing a logo that can be used for marketing
purposes, providing a liaison between the DNR
and the business, and identifying Green Tier
companies on the DNR website and in
promotional materials about the program.
The Green Masters Program
• The Green Masters program is an
objective, points based certification
program, that will allow businesses
of any size and from any sector to
understand what needs to be done
to justifiably claim that they are “on
the road to sustainability.”
Focus on Energy
• Focus on Energy works with eligible
Wisconsin businesses to install cost
effective energy efficiency and
renewable energy projects. Focus
financial incentives help to implement
projects that otherwise would not be
completed, or to complete projects
sooner than scheduled.
Focus on Energy
• Focus provides businesses in all industries the
following benefits:
– Cash-Back rewards for energy efficient project
– Support in developing a customized energy action plan
– New technology research that saves you money and
improves productivity
– Assistance in communicating with internal audiences,
contractors, and other suppliers for program
– Access to Focus on Energy-sponsored training programs
MPower Madison
• Mpower Business ChaMpions is the first program in
South-Central Wisconsin that systematically ensures
businesses go green effectively and efficiently.
Over one year, the ChaMpion program moves
businesses from intention to implementation;
reducing their use of energy, water, transportation and
waste through completed projects. Ultimately saving
Participating businesses are provided with a variety of
tools, from carbon calculators to energy consultants.
Our approach centers on: one-on-one support,
measurement, local and national resources,
transparency, timely information, accountability and
Partnerships for Sustainability
• Partnerships for Sustainability provides
Southeastern Wisconsin’s small businesses
with practical steps that help improve top-line
revenue and bottom-line efficiencies through
sustainable business practices. Business
leaders who are ready to roll up their sleeves,
move beyond the theory and get their
companies started will discover that 3T
Sustainability is focused on
delivering actionable sustainability resources.
• Businesses that understand and
position themselves for the
future will be winners.
• There are many tools and
programs to help businesses get
started on their own journey
toward sustainability.

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