Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
September, 10th 2011

Most people that have been in a start-up or launched a new product line have probably read Geoffrey Moore‘s  ‘Crossing the Chasm.’

The ‘chasm’ is defined as the gap between what it takes for early adopters to adopt a new technology versus what it takes for the early majority to buy into it.  Moore believes visionaries and pragmatists have very different expectations, and he attempts to explore those differences and suggest techniques to successfully cross the “chasm.”

A similar ‘chasm’  exists in the area of sustainability for companies trying to transition from early adopter (stick your toe in the water) projects to successfully planning, executing and achieving sustainability goals.   A recent study by TRIRIGA, a recent IBM Smarter Buildings acquisition, finds that although 92 percent of the world’s largest corporations and government agencies have set environmental and energy reduction goals, two–thirds failed to achieve them.  While a majority of organizations have yet to achieve their goals, one-third demonstrate that it is possible. What did these organizations do to cross that chasm?

TRIRIGA evaluated survey data from 130 sustainability–focused executives and professionals, all from companies and agencies with revenues or operating budget greater than $1 billion, and found that  75 percent of organizations that achieved their environmental and energy management goals invested in three clear activities:

·    91% improve facility energy efficiency,
·    77% improve equipment servicing and maintenance, and
·    75% improve space utilization (i.e. space optimization)

This serves as a great indicator where to begin and how to prioritize activities.   But there are other factors to be considered.

trirega blog survey

A sustainability program, like most strategic initiatives, is much more likely to succeed with strong executive management support from its first stages and with specific resources dedicated to its implementation.  Involving executive management in all stages of the strategy with regular reviews and celebration of milestones is key to crossing this ‘chasm.’

Establishing sustainability as a top priority within real estate and facilities is  fundamental to success. Real estate and facility assets consume more than 77 percent of electricity and consume 49 percent of total energy according to the US Energy Information Administration.  They are also responsible for approximately 48 percent of global carbon emissions and research identifies that buildings have the highest growth in CO2 emissions since 1960. Research from McKinsey also finds that they provide the greatest opportunity for reduction at the lowest cost – they are the low-hanging fruit of sustainability. Based on these staggering statistics, there was little surprise that companies crossing this chasm placed a high priority on sustainability within real estate and facilities.

To learn more about the strategies and tactics used by leading organizations to achieve their sustainability goals,  join our webcast “Crossing the Sustainability Chasm” on Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00AM PST  which will include the following content:

·    Best practice examples on achieving energy management & environmental goals
·    How IBM achieved more than $29 million in energy cost savings in 2010

Click to register: and you can also look for the webcast replay option following the event.

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January 23, 2015
12:11 pm

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Posted by: SFP
September 12, 2011
9:48 pm

Crossing is a romantic notion. If an energy process is sustainable then it is a question of nurturing it until the competition loses it’s monopoly. This suggests a policy of making enclaves – like monasteries of the past – where populations make choices and learn to live with the consequences. This implies, at the most fundamental level, the development and encouragement of “Amish” type subcultures.

Posted by: Alan king
September 10, 2011
11:31 am

The key to crossing the chasm is to target a beachhead segment of customers we call “pragmatists in pain.” They will be driven to sustainability not from the upside gains but as an antidote to severe downside pain. Is there such a subsegment to target for extra attention now? If so, once they “catch fire” they will kindle the rest of us, and we can spend the next blog post talking about the tornado instead of the chasm.

Posted by: Geoff Moore
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