Whose carbon footprint are you part of?
My workshop, “Go Green, Win More Business!”, at the Newcastle Winning Business conference went well yesterday with some really enthusiastic contributions from the participants. I’m constantly finding that more and more business people “get it” and the elicitation elements are rarely if ever met with baffled silence as they were a few years ago.
One of the points I kept reinforcing is “whose carbon footprint are you part of?” A few years ago, many organisations ignored the supply chain element of their carbon footprint, but this is now the exception rather than the rule.
If your customers, or indeed their customers, are in the public sector then they will have stiff carbon reduction targets to meet. Take, for example, one of my clients, the NHS. 60% of their footprint is in their supply chain. So they either have to get their suppliers to cut their carbon footprint, or find new suppliers.
If you supply to retail, or to customers who do, then Amazon, M&S, Tesco, Wal-Mart, IKEA and many other big sheds have aggressive supply chain sustainability programmes. You are part of their footprint and you’ll be expected to shrink that footprint or take a hike. Lots of other big manufacturers and service providers have their own carbon reduction targets.
Traditionally we think of the business case for sustainability being about “what’s in it for me?”. Perhaps a more pertinent question to ask is “what’s in it for our customers?”