Practicing the Zen of Business Sustainability

Taiga Company    Yobo Member
February 28th, 2011

Credit: Spoktu

Zen – Chinese, Ch’an. Buddhism . a Mahayana movement, introduced into china in the 6th century a.d. and into japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means

How do business leaders walk the delicate art of transitioning to more sustainable business strategies?  When you think about it, the requirements to maintain a sustainable business today are quite different than they were just ten years ago.   Companies on the leading edge are evaluating the economic, social and environmental impacts that will ultimately affect profitability.  Green business practices are becoming more and more the norm, as companies both large and small realize the value of integrating eco awareness and sustainability concepts into their operations and business strategies.

With the global business environment rapidly changing, companies not only have to react but must become masterful in their response.  Recognizing the need for change and taking action can get a business on the right track.   In our professional consulting experience, we have determined the key is to identify and implement business sustainability concepts that add value and more importantly stick.  Businesses that take on and master a few select sustainability concepts at a time are better positioned to capture lasting value from their efforts.

For example, many organizations are developing strategies to reduce emissions.  These organizations are proactively implementing process improvements and new technologies to add value and reduce risk.  By focusing on and applying resources to a broad concept, a company can drill-down to more detailed sustainable actions to address:

•    Office Building Energy Consumption – evaluating the average energy use per square foot of office space and implementing best practices to reduce: energy consumption studies, efficiency practices, equipment modifications, etc.

•    Operations Efficiency – incorporating energy efficient process into their daily operations, evaluating peak hour consumption, and decreasing off-hour usage.

•    Supply Chain Efficiency: creating integrated processes with suppliers to improve communication, ensure common sustainable processes, and increase energy efficiency.

Masterful companies recognize that business sustainability is a mind-set change that should be consistent and in alignment with organizational commitment and continuous improvement efforts already in place within the company.  The critical elements to affective implementation include: executive leadership, consistent action, clear communication, and stakeholder engagement.

How is your business mastering the Zen of business sustainability?

Story originated at the Taiga Company Sustainability: Life, Business and Sustainability Blog

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