The Next Sustainability Wave
369 Pages
English

The Next Sustainability Wave

-

369 Pages
English

Description

The idea of sustainability has been embraced enthusiastically by some businesses and rejected by others. The first wave of corporate converts to sustainability was driven by a PR crisis perhaps, regulatory pressures, or the founder's personal passion. The next wave, however, requires different drivers if it is to build a critical mass for corporate responsibility in the business community.

The Next Sustainability Wave assesses why companies have resisted sustainability strategies and focuses on two emerging drivers that promise to spur corporate commitment to sustainability strategies:

  • a compelling business case, and
  • a "perfect storm" of threatening market forces on the horizon that range from climate change to the rising demands of stakeholders.

An effective carrot-and-stick duo, these two drivers are both triggering the need for change and providing a vision of business success if the transition to sustainable operations, products, and services is smartly managed.

Emphasizing the importance of how sustainability is presented to corporate leaders - using the right language, and avoiding threats to the status quo that provoke habitual corporate defense mechanisms -- the book applies effective selling techniques to reposition sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing corporate ends, rather than as a separate priority to worry about. It sells sustainability as a solution, a business strategy, and a catalyst for business transformation. An appendix gives a version of the sustainability business case for Small-to-Medium-level Enterprises.

Designed for quick reading and reference -- right pages furthering the argument, while left pages provide support materials -- the book is especially useful for those wanting to convince busy executives and board members.


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Published by
Published 01 April 2005
Reads 0
EAN13 9781550923308
Language English
Document size 2 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

Advance Praise for The NEXT Sustainability Wave
The Next Sustainability Waveprovides valuable insight into communicating this corporate leaders in their own language to bring about “enlightened selfinterest.” We can all expect to become better sustainability change agents by reading and applying the lessons found here. — KarlHenrik Robèrt, founder of the Natural Step and author of The Natural Step Story: Seeding a Quiet Revolution
This highly informative and thoroughly researched book presents a wealth of data, ideas, and insights drawn from a vast array of sources and the firsthand experience of practitioners. Bob Willard’s genius is finding the gems, presenting them in plain language, and building a strong case that corporate sustainability is approaching the tipping point. — Dr. Brian Nattrass, Managing Partner, Sustainability Partners, coauthor of The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation andDancing With the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step
If you are going to read one reference book on corporate social responsibility this year, this is the book. Bob Willard takes complex and often illdefined ideas and distills them into bitesized chunks that can be easily understood and acted on. — Adine Mees, President and CEO, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
Bob Willard has done a great service for all of us with an interest in the future of business by synthesizing a vast literature into a strategic roadmap that lights the way ahead for those who pull the levers of power.The Next Sustainability Wavebridges the gap that has too long separated strategic management and sustainability — this is a book that both sharpens the mind and catalyzes action. — Robert M. Abbott, CMC, Founder & Chief Strategist, ABBOTT STRATEGIES, author ofUncommon Cents: Henry David Thoreau and the Nature of Business
The Next Sustainability Waveheralds a new era in which sustainability strategies help business leaders to pursue competitive advantage in a complex global environment. — Dr. Chris Laszlo, cofounder, Sustainable Value Partners, and author of The Sustainable Company: How to Create Lasting Value through Social and Environmental Performance
WithThe Next Sustainability Wave,Bob Willard has utilized a particularly effective structure, combining the fresh ideas of a host of leading edge experts with his own unique insights. — Bruce Sampson, Vice President Sustainability, British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority
Bob Willard’sThe Next Sustainability Waveis a strategy guide, encyclopedia, and compelling collection of stories and anecdotes — all in one volume. It belongs on the desk of every executive who cares about the future. — David Ticoll, coauthor ofThe Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency will Revolutionize BusinessandDigital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs
The Next Sustainability Waveis a mustread for any business, government, or nonprofit leader concerned with high performance today and survival in the future. It provides a clear, stepbystep approach for analyzing how sustainability can assist an organization to thrive in rapidly changing times. — Bob Doppelt, director, Program in Watershed and Community Health, and academic coordinator, Sustainability Leadership Academy, University of Oregon
No other author has drawn on anywhere near the depth of experience from such a range of practitioners as Bob Willard has withThe Next Sustainability Wave.He provides a robust framework that both highlights his insights and lets the voices of many others add color and perspective. — Don Reed and Paul Gilding, Ecos Corporation, authors of the paper “Single Bottom Line Sustainability”
Thoroughly researched and packed with lots of great come backs for all the “yeahbut” responses you’re likely to encounter,The Next Sustainability Waveoffers great insights on why sustainability makes good, practical, and strategic business sense. — Ronald Nielsen, Director, Sustainability and Strategic Partnerships, Alcan Inc.
The data, information, stories and personal perspectives contained in The Next Sustainability Waveprovide a clear and compelling vision of a new way of doing business. Bob Willard shows us in clear terms how and why st sustainability should be the core strategy of business in the 21 Century. — Kevin Brady, Director, Five Winds International and coauthor of Mapping the Journey: Case Studies in Strategy and Action toward Sustainable Development
The Next Sustainability Wavecaptures from all perspectives the best current thinking on the business case for sustainability, in an accessible, practical, and balanced manner. Bob Willard makes it clear — there is no longer a valid reason for companies not to pursue environmental and social sustainability. — Dr. Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director, Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development
NEWSOCIETYPUBLISHERS
To Sherrill, my inspiration and partner in life, with love.
Cataloging in Publication Data: A catalog record for this publication is available from the National Library of Canada.
Copyright © 2005 by Bob Willard. All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh. Cover Image: Photodisc Blue.
Printed in Canada. First Printing February 2005.
New Society Publishers acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for our publishing activities.
Paperback ISBN: 0865715327
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part ofThe NEXT Sustainability Wave should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below.
To order directly from the publishers, contact:
New Society Publishers P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada 18005676772
New Society Publishers’ mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision. We are committed to doing this not just through education, but through action. We are acting on our commitment to the world’s remaining ancient forests by phasing out our paper supply from ancient forests worldwide. This book is one step towards ending global deforestation and climate change. It is printed on acidfree paper that is100% old growth forestfree(100% postconsumer recycled), processed chlorine free, and printed with vegetable based, low VOC inks. For further information, or to browse our full list of books and purchase securely, visit our website at: www.newsociety.com NEWSOCIETYPUBLISHERSwww.newsociety.com
CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
LIST OFEXPERTSINTERVIEWED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii
FOREWORD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi
CHAPTER1: INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Setting the Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Early Thoughts on Inhibiters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Who Is in the Next Sustainability Wave? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Sustainability “Tipping Point” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Squeeze on Boards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 A Sustainability Sales Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Terminology Swamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Sustainability Stages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Drivers of Sustainability: Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 CHAPTER2: THREEDRIVERS OF THEFIRSTWAVE. . . . . . . . . 35 How Would You Know a Leading Sustainability Company If You Saw One? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Driver #1: Founder’s Personal Passion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Driver #2: Public Relations Crisis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Driver #3: Regulatory Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 CHAPTER3: FIRSTEMERGINGDRIVERA PERFECTSTORM OFTHREATS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 A “Perfect Storm” of Market Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 MegaIssues + Demanding Stakeholders » Business Risks . . . . 91 MegaIssues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Demanding Stakeholders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Rising Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Rising Expectations » Business Risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Transforming MegaIssues into MegaOpportunities . . . . . . 127 CHAPTER4: SECONDEMERGINGDRIVERCOMPELLINGBUSINESSVALUE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Sustainability Lens on a Balanced Scorecard . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 ByProduct of Good Business Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Seven BottomLine Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
v
The Seven Benefits Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Overall Recent Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 SharePrice Correlations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Tailored Totals Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 The Catch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Ethical Objections to a Business Case Rationale . . . . . . . . . . 161 CHAPTER5: OBJECTIONHANDLINGCLINIC ONINHIBITERS TO THENEXTWAVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 Inhibiter #1: Lack of Support from Senior Leaders . . . . . . . 165 Inhibiter #2: Fear of Backlash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Inhibiter #3: Weak Business Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 Inhibiter #4: Mindset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Changing Worldviews Is Tough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 What Color Would You Like? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 CHAPTER6: CONCLUSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Positioning the Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 The Climate Change Lightning Rod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 Getting the Word Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Five Signs that Sustainability’s Tipping Point Is Close . . . . . 255 It’s About Innovation, Productivity, and Competitive Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Leaders, Followers, and Laggards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 APPENDIX: SMERELEVANTBUSINESSCASE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 How SMEs Are Different . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 Sustainability Drivers for SMEs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 Sample Company — SME Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 An SMERelevant Business Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 Similar and Different Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 Food for Thought on Engaging SMEs in Sustainability . . . . 301 ENDNOTES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Books about Deterioration of Environment and Society . . . 336 Books about Corporate Contributions to Environmental and Social Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338 Books about Stage 4 and Stage 5 Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . 340 Books about Benefits of Moving from Stage 3 to Stage 4 . . 341 INDEX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343
ABOUT THEAUTHOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
vi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
y formal and informal study during the 1990s awoke me to the M pressing need for sustainable development. My objective is to harness resources of the global business community in the race toward sustainability before it is too late. Several early influences shaped my crusade. Dana Meadows’ two books, Limits to GrowthandBeyond the Limits,contributed to my wakeup call. Her weekly columns were an amazing blend of wisdom, passion, and humor. Her unique ability to connect events and her selfeffacing style made her premature passing all the more tragic. Bill Alexander, my supervisor and mentor during my master’s program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, first seeded the idea to write a book and to use a doctorate as a vehicle for research. Despite my initial dismissal of both ideas out of hand, his discerning questions and friendly encouragement started me down the path to my graduation/second book publication milestone this year. He was a kindred spirit whose counsel I miss. The experts who graciously agreed to be interviewed and quoted were essential to this work. Between January 2002 and March 2004, I interviewed 43 sustainability experts, listed on the next pages. They represent a mix of sustainability consultants (17), senior corporate leaders (13), NGO representatives (7), and academics (6). Geographically, most were from Canada (27). Others were from the US (12) and the UK/Europe (4). Interviews with the experts yielded 278 singlespaced pages of transcribed material. Ideas from all of them were a wonderful catalyst to my thinking, especially about drivers of sustainability, and I use quotations from many to reinforce points made throughout the book. I sincerely thank them for their time and assistance. Thanks also to the hundreds of authors, researchers, academics, activists, consultants, conference speakers, and reporters who provide a rich reservoir of material for sustainability champions. Another incarnation of this book is my doctoral thesis. Gary Knowles’ editing, supervision, and guidance has enlivened its content and supported a much more dynamic design than I would otherwise have the courage to use. Marilyn Laiken’s and Rodney White’s insightful suggestions improved both the thesis and the book versions. Thank you all.
vii
LIST OFEXPERTSINTERVIEWED
Experts are listed alphabetically by surname. Pseudonyms for those preferring to remain anonymous are listed at the end. • Mark Anielski: Adjunct Professor, Corporate Social Responsibility & Social Entrepreneurship, School of Business, University of Alberta • William R. Blackburn: President, William Blackburn Consulting, Ltd.; former Vice President and Chief Counsel, Corporate Environment, Health, and Safety, Baxter International Inc. • Kevin Brady: Director, Five Winds International • Susan Burns: Principal, Natural Strategies LLC; Managing Director, Global Footprint Network • Professor Martin Charter: Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, UK • Louise Comeau: Former Director, Federation of Canadian Municipalities • Neil Cooney: Former Vice President, Human Resources, IBM Canada Ltd. • Devin Crago: Senior Analyst, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors • Steven Cross: President, Threads Lifestyle • Steve Elbert: Senior Vice President, Remediation Management, BP America Inc. • Claude Fussler: Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD); Special Advisor to the UN Global Compact • Greg Gulyas: Vice President, Sales & Marketing, IBM Global Services • Mitch Gold: Vice President, North American Affairs, International Association of Educators for World Peace • Gib Hedstrom: President, Hedstrom Associates; former Vice President, Environmental Management, Arthur D. Little • Stephen Hill: Assistant Professor, Environmental & Resource Studies, Trent University
viii
List of Experts Interviewed
George Khoury: Director, Conference Board of Canada Laurent Leduc: Principal, Leadership Horizons Amory Lovins: CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute Antony Marcil: Former President and CEO, World Environment Center; behavioral economist Bill McClean: Vice President, IBM Canada Ltd. Mark Milstein: PostDoctoral Fellow, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University; Business Research Director, Sustainable Enterprise Program, World Resources Institute Richard Mireault: Former Environmental Manager, IBM Canada Ltd. Sam Moore: Vice President, Burlington Chemical Company Paul Muldoon: Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association Gerry Pelletier: Transformation Executive, IBM Canada Ltd. David Powell: President, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy; staff, Innis College Environmental Studies Program at the University of Toronto; verifier, Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association Responsible Care program Marlo Raynolds: Executive Director, Pembina Institute Don Reed, CFA: Principal, Ecos Corporation Steve Rice: President, Environmental Opportunities Nigel Roome: Chair, Sustainable Enterprise and Transformation, Eramsus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands Scott Rouse: Managing Partner, Energy @ Work Brian Shannon: Former Director, Customer Fulfillment, IBM Canada Ltd. Julian Smit: Principal, SOHO/SME John Swannick: Manager, Public Affairs, Lloyds TSB Group John Szold: Former Vice President of Licensed Brands, Delicious Alternative Desserts (former Canadian licensee of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) Mark Thomsen: Director, SRI World Group Inc. Rodney White: Director, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Toronto
ix