Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications

Sarah Slaughter, director of the Built Environment Coalition

For all those companies that are unsure about how to adopt sustainable business practices and concerned about the long-term management implications, Sarah Slaughter, Ph.D., a leading authority on business sustainability, can provide some reassuring perspective:

Sustainability is also an opportunity — and potentially a huge one.

When implemented properly — by building partnerships and taking a systems approach to solving problems — sustainability can create new markets and provide a business with opportunities for new products, services, innovation and revenue streams.

“Sustainability is about doing good and being a good citizen at one level — and that’s immensely valuable to a business,” Dr. Slaughter said. “But along with that is this wonderful opportunity for real financial growth, which can make sustainability much more than just a matter of compliance for a company.”

Sustainability and the importance of partnerships

To realize lasting success with sustainability, collaboration with a range of stakeholders is essential, according to Dr. Slaughter, the founder and executive director of the Built Environment Coalition, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving sustainability and disaster resiliency for communities.

“Almost every sustainability issue affects multiple parties and involves multiple points of intersection from business, government, various organizations and the community,” said Dr. Slaughter, who also teaches at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and ran the school’s Sustainability Initiative for several years.

“By bringing together a varied group of people with a range of interests, expertise, responsibilities and capabilities, you can arrive at a rich mix of solutions that no one party would be able to implement on its own,” she said.

Just how important, exactly, does Dr. Slaughter consider partnering for sustainability?

“If a company decides to go it alone and says, ‘We’re just going to do this our own way,’ — I, personally, wouldn’t invest in that company,” Dr. Slaughter said. “No long-range sustainability initiative should be conceived of alone.”

——————————————————————————————————————————

Video: Sarah Slaughter, Finding Financial Opportunities of Sustainability

YouTube Preview Image

Sarah Slaughter, Ph.D., a leading expert on business sustainability, talks about why CFOs must pursue a robust sustainability strategy that not only fulfills compliance requirements but may also open the door to new products, services and market opportunities.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

A broad-based effort pays off big

To illustrate the positive impact of partnerships, Dr. Slaughter provides the example of a water treatment plant that wanted to cut costs and improve the quality of the water it provided.

The simplest, quick fix, go-it-alone solution would have been to refine its internal processes and use of chemicals to treat its water.

But instead, the utility looked beyond itself to clean up the water coming into the plant in the first place, so it would require less treatment. The facility partnered with nature conservation organizations, hiking groups, student sports leagues and others throughout the region.

“Each party made a contribution that ultimately yielded a cleaner watershed and not only solved the utility’s problem, but protected the health and well-being of the broader community,” Dr. Slaughter said. By partnering, the utility has reduced its treatment costs; customers get healthier water (less chemicals added); and the surrounding communities enjoy a cleaner environment.

Communities hold the key

Dr. Slaughter considers collaboration at the community level as the next big thing in sustainability and a key to deep and lasting sustainability solutions.

“We’ve seen a lot of action on sustainability at the top levels, from the federal government and major multinationals — and at the individual level, where people take responsibility to turn off lights and walk to work, for instance,” Dr. Slaughter said. “Now the focus is on the community, where people are eager to take responsibility to improve the places where they live and work.”

Business leaders need to leverage this community enthusiasm to help develop, implement and assess sustainability solutions.

“One of the wonderful things about working with the community is that often people have great ideas about what they can do right now to really address a lot of these sustainability issues,” Dr. Slaughter said.

Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

12 Comments
 
December 20, 2013
3:16 am

An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this topic, it might not be a taboo topic however generally people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers


Posted by: Linn Vesper
 
December 11, 2013
2:48 pm

Township Meeting Established For Monday, Even with Street Excursion Lessen Pottsgrove commissioners canceled their very last public session on April 19. They are not likely to skip two inside a row, even when the board president is on an “international tour.”


Posted by: Debbra Entrup
 
August 15, 2013
6:25 am

I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly liked reading all that is posted on your website.Keep the posts coming. I liked it!


Posted by: custom jewelry
 
August 5, 2013
4:23 pm

Needed to send you this very little observation in order to say thank you yet again for your awesome information you’ve featured on this website. It was quite wonderfully generous with you to offer publicly precisely what a few individuals could possibly have offered as an e-book to help make some cash for themselves, particularly now that you might well have done it in case you wanted. The basics also worked like a great way to be aware that other people online have the identical eagerness like mine to find out a good deal more around this problem. I’m sure there are many more fun periods up front for those who looked over your blog post.


Posted by: Kitchen Design
 
July 29, 2013
5:58 am

I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to achieve my goals. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your website.Keep the aarticles coming. I loved it!


Posted by: freeze dried food
 
July 28, 2013
3:51 am

An attention-grabbing dialogue is price comment. I believe that you must write extra on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic however typically persons are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers


Posted by: Justin Iwanski
 
July 27, 2013
3:20 pm

obviously like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come back again.


Posted by: Business Management
 
July 27, 2013
4:43 am

I was more than happy to search out this internet-site.I wished to thanks for your time for this glorious read!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.


Posted by: Louis Harkey
 
July 27, 2013
4:20 am

There are some attention-grabbing time limits on this article however I don�t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as effectively


Posted by: Tina Celeya
 
July 26, 2013
3:11 am

The next time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, however I actually thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you can repair should you werent too busy searching for attention.


Posted by: Adam Rudie
 
July 25, 2013
3:06 am

The next time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, however I actually thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you can repair should you werent too busy searching for attention.


Posted by: Bryce Sickels
 
July 21, 2013
7:58 am

Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks However I’m experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don�t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx


Posted by: Albert Nol
 
Post a Comment