By taking an environmental stance, many of our customers have reduced their costs and risks, while improving their revenues and brand. This set of benefits is called the eco-advantage. Whether green projects are driven by an organization's desire to protect the environment, reduce costs, produce eco-friendly goods to meet growing consumer demand, or comply with increasing levels of government regulation, the results can be both good for the environment and good for business.
You can achieve the eco-advantage in various ways:
Improving the efficiency of your organization-the eco-efficiency-by cutting out waste, using resources productively, and minimizing your carbon footprint.
Improving product and service designs so they're based on green processes, such as minimizing waste by-products and designing for recycling-or eco-innovation.
Gaining knowledge into the value chain so that your business can promote its green brand and enhance and protect its overall brand-or eco-transparency.
The concept of eco-advantage, popularized by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston's book, Green to Gold, focuses on ways that smart companies can do more than merely comply with environmental policies and pressures. Leading-edge companies go beyond the basics of cutting waste and operating efficiently. They embed environmental considerations into all aspects of their operations. To do this, they:
Design innovative products to help customers with their environmental problems or create new eco-defined market spaces
Push their suppliers and partners to be better environmental stewards or select them on that basis
Collect data to track sustainability performance and establish metrics to gauge progress
Partner with non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to locate and implement innovative solutions to environmental problems
Engage all its employees in the eco-advantage culture through ambitious goal-setting, incentives, training, and tools