Are you capturing all the benefits of Sustainability?
The news that wind power is saving Europe €2.4bn worth of water each year (source BusinessGreen) reminded me that we need to capture all the benefits of sustainability measures like renewable energy. Carbon is just one part of the reason to go down the renewables route – other benefits over fossil fuel include security of supply, safety, reduced transportation, air quality – and now we see reduced water consumption added to the list.
The same applies to assessments of organisational sustainability options – the benefits can be much wider and deeper than you expect. For example, Marks & Spencer launched Plan A with the intention of protecting the its ‘trusted brand’ status, but have found that it’s more than paying for itself by cutting costs. Interface wanted to install renewable energy to cut carbon, but ended up producing ‘SolarMade’ carpet as a brand. Other businesses have found that using natural light has boosted productivity.
This requires a more intelligent approach to assess costs and benefits and not rely on a narrow trade-off. But you can manage that, can’t you?