Expert Views on Environmental & Sutainability

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Collaborating to Meet Global Sustainability Needs

  
  
  
transparencyCorporate transparency related to environmental impacts is gaining more traction worldwide due to sustainability-inclined investors and consumers, as well as better legislation and purchasing priorities. These factors drive companies to commit more resources to measuring and mitigating their environmental impacts.

This is an important development, as it aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Many of the goals in this framework fall within a variety of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, including accessibility and sustainable management of water and sanitation; reliable and sustainable modern energy for all; promotion of sustainable economic development and useful, decent work for all; construction of resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialization; fighting climate change and its impacts; and strengthening the implementation and revitalization of global partnerships.

The Role of Technology in Sustainability: Innovative Solutions

  
  
  
climate_change-2Climate change seems to be on many agendas including developed and developing countries; business organizations and local communities. While one of the obvious approaches to address climate change is to limit the consumption of fossil fuels, this is not enough by itself.Green technologies play an important part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping organizations and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change, oftentimes supporting and enhancing sustainability efforts that are already in place. There are positive indications that the global community continues to transition to green technologies and investments in renewable energy have gone up significantly, with 2014 seeing $270 billion in investments worldwide.

In the global marketplace, green technology is critical to sustainable development. Organizations view technology as an effective tool in aligning business objectives with sustainability goals. Companies such as H&M and Puma, inspired by the circular economy model, have teamed up to utilize textile-to-textile recycling technology as part of their business strategy to integrate sustainable practices into corporate operations. By reusing and repurposing old or unused products, companies are, simply put, more sustainable.

Sustainability in the Built Environment

  
  
  
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Cities all over the world are trying different ways to contribute to global sustainability. One popular practice is the creation of “green” buildings: structures built using sustainable materials or modified to become sustainable. Such structures provide cities with infrastructure that will stand the test of time with little maintenance. This can be achieved through a variety of design innovations, such as the use of renewable sources instead of fossil fuels for energy and the use of renewable materials for renovation.

The ‘Road to 100A’: Managing Your Scope 3 Emissions

  
  
  
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Experts agree environmental risks are one of the underlying causes of operational issues that negatively impact companies. Disclosing environmental data is an important aspect of corporate transparency valued by stakeholders. In 2014, over 5,000 companies from more than 80 countries chose to report, manage and share vital environmental information through CDP. Why? Because it demonstrates to investors, supply chains and governments that you are managing risks and capitalizing on opportunities, in addition to reducing the impact your operations have on the resources you rely on—all of which attract investors and customers, and strengthen your brand.

Is your Business Capable of Marketing Sustainability Effectively?

  
  
  
climate-changeClimate change has transformed the way global companies and the general population perceive sustainability and its importance to communities and the environment. Organizations now pay closer attention to becoming more sustainable in their business practices, and consumers are becoming “greener” in their product choices.

According to Maria Garrido, International Marketing Director for international advertising agency Havas, consumers are willing to spend money on a brand if they see it as a meaningful brand. Their operational concept of brand “meaningfulness” consists of three value propositions: 1) marketplace benefits, or the value delivered by products; 2) personal benefits, or the capability of a brand to connect to customers; and 3) collective benefits, or a brand’s overall contribution to society and the environment.

Carbon Pricing for a more Sustainable Economy

  
  
  
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Global organizations regard climate change as a serious business risk that directly impacts their business operations. Climate change leads to environmental risks such as floods, heat stress and droughts, which adversely affect organizations, especially their supply chains, consumers and revenue streams. As a result, people are realizing that the framework we use for conducting business and producing goods and services needs to change.

The Importance of Sustainability Reporting

  
  
  
sustainability_buildingsMany investors recognize that sustainability is a long-term goal that will define the business model and advance from limited practice among eco-friendly business leaders. In a report published by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), 80% of the C-level executives interviewed believe sustainability is a way to gain competitive advantage in today’s global market. Reporting sustainability data has become a crucial part of achieving certifications and gaining investors.

Sustainability reporting in the corporate setting is an important factor to improve a company’s green initiatives and its relationship with investors and clients, inline with stakeholders’ demand for transparency and accountability. Ernst & Young upholds that sustainability reporting is “a best practice employed by companies worldwide,” as it can help improve practices already in place.

4 Ways to Integrate Sustainability into Your Core Business

  
  
  
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Global organizations recognize the importance of incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations in planning for core businesses. With increasing opportunities arising from trends in global sustainability, companies and their leaders are embracing sustainable development to respond to environmental and social issues that affect the way they operate.

Global Nations and their Transition towards Clean and Renewable Energy

  
  
  
renewable_energyThere is a perception by some that renewable energy is expensive and only wealthy countries have access. Some think that developing countries can only afford less expensive fossil fuels. Over the years, however, significant green technological advances have made it possible for developing countries to access affordable clean energy. These countries are also the source of some of the most extraordinary wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro and other natural resources.

Climatescope, a country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index, conducted a study on the clean energy activities of emerging markets from 55 developing nations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The results revealed that renewable technologies are an energy solution as cost-effective for developing nations as they are for developed ones. Topping the list in the Climatescope 2014 study of developing countries with the most effective clean energy and renewable technology investments are China, Brazil, South Africa, India, Chile, Uruguay, Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia and Uganda.

Top 3 Global Companies and their Best Energy Practices

  
  
  
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Managing energy consumption is an integral component of an organization’s sustainability efforts. By establishing and practicing the right energy management strategies, organizations achieve tangible results reflected in their return on investment (ROI) and productivity reports. Being energy-efficient helps organizations reduce operational costs and lessen carbon activity. If joint global efforts on energy management were universally implemented, a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their 1990 levels will be achieved by 2030, according to a McKinsey report.

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