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20 Oct 2010 12:10:13

Get credit for your sustainability

Get credit for your sustainability efforts with effective measurement and reporting

Companies are growingly aware that their top and bottom lines will depend on how deeply they commit to sustainability and how accurately they track, measure, and report their progress in this area. In view of this looming financial imperative, many large global enterprises have already invested significant time, energy, and resources into sustainability efforts. But, so have small and medium-size firms in the high street.

The main reasons companies are increasingly interested in sustainability include:

• Customers require it. More than 80% of all consumers surveyed in a 2009 national poll indicated that it’s somewhat or very important that the companies they purchase are sustainable business.

• Supplier networks demand it. Companies are now requiring that vendors collaborate on sustainability initiatives. If a business wants to continue receiving orders from big customers like this, it will follow suit on sustainability.

• Potential employees insist on it. A recent study of employees between the ages of 18 and 35 in the United States, the European Union, India, and China found that 96% of them want to work for a company that’s committed to sustainability.

• Government contracts necessitate it. Local and central government purchasing agents are, in more and more cases, not permitted to do business with vendors who have a poor or nonexistent track record when it comes to sustainability. Over time, sustainability, diversity, and price may become the three most important variables for winning public-sector contracts.

• Public policy encourages it. As previously reported by Envido, The revised draft National Policy Statements on Energy published this week shows that the government wants that half the new energy capacity built in the UK by 2025 will come from renewable sources of energy, and the majority is likely to be wind.

• Sustainability ensure long-term profitability: A major global survey of 750 chief executives undertaken three months ago by Accenture in partnership with the UN Global Compact initiative revealed that for more than three quarters of the chief executives and chairmen interviewed the recession has raised the profile of low-carbon initiatives. The majority appointed the development of environmentally sustainable products and services as a way of driving revenue growth.

There is a need for consistent and coherent sustainability reporting standards that are globally accepted

However, despite all the sustainable activity in the private sector around the world, most companies haven’t been able to fully track, measure, and report their sustainability endeavors. And many firms are still struggling with the often-complex data gathering in this arena. Just because of this, it’s critical that private enterprises get credit for their sustainability efforts and essential that outside investors and influencers can verify these activities, because the risks of ignoring potential sustainability liability will only grow over time.

Another component that will reinforce the number of private-sector sustainability programs is a global reporting standard. At the moment, there is no globally accepted framework that brings together financial, environmental, social and governance information in a clear, consistent, comparable, and integrated format.

Sustainability is finally gaining global currency among companies and the use of tracking, measuring, and reporting results isn’t far behind. However, we must have consistent and coherent sustainability standards so that enterprises on every continent are on the same page, both literally and figuratively.

Envido’s integrated solutions delivered through the three divisions of our business - Opportunity, Technology and Change – guarantee that our clients have all the resources, tools and technologies they need to manage their low-carbon journey successfully in their commitment to sustainability.

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