The fact that we believe in the business case for sustainability goes without question. Sustainability improves your public image, saves you money by reducing waste, boosts employee morale, provides you with tax benefits, and ensures that you’re doing your part to save the world.
Or does it?
Karl-Henrik Robèrt, a leading expert in the field of cancer research and founder of The Natural Step, a non-profit organization that works to build an ecologically and economically sustainable society, compares individual greening efforts to traveling first class on the Titanic. If you practice sustainability in a relative vacuum, it’ll be great for you, but the ship is still going down.
So where does that leave us?
“Society at large…is entering deeper and deeper into a funnel of declining resources to sustain us…and [the] economy,” says Robèrt in a brief video interview with Toronto’s The Globe and Mail. And what happens as a population grows and resources decline? You guessed it – the costs of those resources skyrocket. Change agents around the world have responded to this threat, but as we’ve seen in the lack of progress made in recent global summits, something is flawed in their approach.
Robèrt suggests that the summits’ failures are due to a number of flawed assumptions. Advocates tend to look at sustainability as a cost – but really it’s an investment. In the end, sustainability will be profitable because the markets will respond to our efforts to bring resource supply and demand into healthy alignment.
Given this month’s blog theme, why is this important to you, the Walmart supplier? We think that Walmart’s Carbon Disclosure Project is a great example of affecting global change. By incentivizing suppliers to go green, Walmart is doing its part (and, as the world’s largest retailer, it’s a pretty big part!) to flatten out that supply and demand curve.
And now for the plug: This is why it’s critically important that you get in touch with us if your sustainability initiatives aren’t where they should be. Or maybe you’ve installed all sorts of great green policies at your organization, but you have no idea how to make sure they have staying power, or how to track and report them. SSC knows how to work with all kinds of Walmart suppliers because that’s what we focus on.
By the way…a little disclosure: Robèrt was Jennifer Woofter’s, SSC founder, masters thesis advisor at Sweden’s Blekinge Institute of Technology. And he’s kind of famous, so you should pay attention to him (because fame = importance…right Bono?).