The Business Sustainability Option Period is Expiring

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In the guest post below, Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company, discusses how different stakeholders do not consider sustainability as optional.

There is at least one point in the history of any company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next level of performance. Miss that moment – and you start to decline.  ~ Andy Grove, Intel

Are you enabling sustainability in your business?  Are you identifying and managing business sustainability risk?  Are you actively implementing specific sustainability concepts into core businesses operations?  At some point in time these questions will be asked by at least one if not several of your business stakeholders who have a vested interest in the direction of the company.  By then the option period will have expired, and your business may find itself behind, struggling to keep up with the more responsive competition.

In 2009, Wal-Mart changed the view of sustainability when the company asked its suppliers these exact questions.  Communicated as non-optional, suppliers who may have never considered business sustainability concepts were now extremely incentivized to take immediate action to maintain presence in this global supply chain.  What followed were similar actions by IBM and others who placed their own sustainability expectations on their supply chains.

For those outside of the customer mandates, the past year brought awareness to a different business sustainability motivator.  Capital investment, a valuable asset in the recovering economy, now came with its own sustainability expectations.  Not eager to assume business stability risk in the wake of the recent downturn, lenders appear to favor business plans that manage business sustainability risk.  Investors want to see actionable plans in place to mitigate not only traditional economic sensitivities but environmental and social risks.  Click here to continue reading.

Guest post provided by 3BL Media
Image credit:
Stella Dauer via Flickr under a CC license

2 thoughts on “The Business Sustainability Option Period is Expiring”

  1. So agree, Julie! At this point, we’ve about completed the “should we/shouldn’t we” period (there’s an obvious answer) ,and the brainstorming period where we consider ways to move forward. Now, business thinkers have to get beyond waiting for the absolute perfect answer or example to follow – it doesn’t exist! We are breaking all new ground here, people. Business leaders have to get comfortable with ambiguity, and start (already!) testing out some of their ideas for making their practices more sustainable. The ideas that work will emerge and momentum can start to build.

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