Achieving Business Sustainability


Top 3 Models for Achieving Business Sustainability (Environmental Focus)

by Rina Dakanay

 A growing number of businesses and organizations are making changes, shifting long held paradigms, and introducing new processes to achieve a sustainable enterprise.  Their bottom line: to create lasting value for customers, investors, and the environment.

In a recent study by the consulting group, SustainAbility, called: “Model Behavior: 20 Business Model Innovations for Sustainability”, they describe how companies are executing certain procedures aiming to improve collaboration, innovation and technology.  Not only are they making financial and environmental gains with these processes—they are also broadening their social appeal and impact.

In the spirit of Earth Day next month (April 22), we’re highlighting 3 models and practices that are making lasting *positive* impact for businesses and the environment. 

1.)    Closed Loop Production:  All materials used in manufacturing products are recycled through an ongoing process.  This reduces the amount of waste produced, requiring less materials in the cycle.  Additionally, this model allows the company to engage with customers if a take-back program is implemented.

Ex. Novelis (an aluminum company that produces beverage cans, architectural structures, and consumer electronics)

2.)    Physical to Virtual: We live in a mobile, connected world and consumers are more accustomed to making their purchases online.  Therefore it is no longer necessary to erect a brick and mortar store to establish a brand or to sell products.  Setting up a business online/virtually not only requires less resources and funds—it has also become a convenience.

Ex. FreshDirect (a grocery delivery company)

3.)    Produce on Demand: Some companies will only produce items based on the consumers’ demands.  For example, Threadless, an online t-shirt company encourages artists to create designs- which others can vote on, and the most popular items will go on to production.  These companies will provide further incentives aside from recognition.  Monetary compensation can also be rewarded.

ExLay’s (National Potato Chip Contest called “Do Us A Flavor” – consumers are encouraged to create their own flavor, the top 3 voted flavors will be produced and distributed)

Are you working towards a sustainable business?  What are you implementing to create a greener enterprise?

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