Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Developing a Green Program, with integrity

In this model, I show how a company can develop a sustainable green agenda, with a high degree of integrity for the long term. Leadership is required for any green corporate program. It creates focal points for what matters to the company, such as energy, consumables, etc. Only by identifying these focal points can measures and targets be set for reducing the company's environmental footprint. By doing so, the real costs are revealed. Revealing these costs is necessary is the company is to identify the opportunities and challenges they can act on. It is these that will generate ideas for green action.

Each idea has both benefits and costs, and must be realized in a business case. The raw ideas must be developed into a case for action under the guidance of sponsors in the business. They must work according to sound principles such as end-to-end process design, cradle-to-cradle thinking (cycle of inputs and outputs via the environment). It is these developed ideas, based on sound business case, that can create the change projects that can demonstrate results. Only this will create learning in the organization about the value of green thinking and sustainable development.

As part of this process, the leadership team must challenge the staff themselves to take ownership and create ideas. But unless that loop is closed with the sponsors - the business owners who areable to take action to create change projects, staff ideas and desire for green action will go nowhere. The model therefore shows the complex structures required for a successful program. Now that money is tight again, due to the financial downturn, looking recession and pressures on costs, making the business case for green will be more, not less, important.

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