Home > Articles > Business & Management > Finance & Investing

The Truth About Green Business: Why Go Green Now?

  • Print
  • + Share This
Gil Friend examines why the time is right to move your business towards "green" initiatives.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Why Now?

  • “Why now?” should really be “why not yesterday?” There are a multitude of global trends signaling a need for sustainable business—climate change, population increase, rapidly developing nations, resource depletion, environmental degradation, society’s toxic burden, the loss of biodiversity, the prospect of peak oil, and more. The bottom line is that we need to learn to do more with less—both less stuff and less impact on the environment.

These trends are moving faster than ever, driving an increasingly uncertain world for business. Being green is a way to find certainty in today’s shifting world and to deal with market pressures driving businesses to be greener. (For example, Wal-Mart has declared that its suppliers must use sustainable packaging to keep access to the retail giant’s shelves.) It’s a whole new ball game.

If you don’t lead the way on sustainability, you’re likely to be left in the dust by your competitors. In fact, odds are that other companies around the world are already working on it. You can wait for certainty, or you can lead the way.

As information becomes more transparent to consumers, investors, and regulators, there are new expectations for businesses to be green—and to be able to prove it. Add to the mix a new administration in the United States that has declared its intentions to build a greener economy, and we’ve reached a sustainability tipping point.

Besides, every day your business continues to burn more energy than you truly need, to produce non-product that you can’t sell, is another day of pouring money and resources down the drain.

What now?—A couple of years ago, a client asked me a provocative question: “If we really took this on—if we went beyond baby steps and really told ourselves the truth of what was required—what would we need to know and do?”

The following “Declaration of Leadership for Sustainable Business” was my response. It’s intentionally both terse and provocative. Its purpose: to challenge already good companies, developers, designers, and public authorities to an even higher level of thinking, aspiration, and performance. I think it provides a useful “big picture” frame for the nuts and bolts that you’ll find in the truths that follow.

Because:

  • The well being of our economy fundamentally depends on the services from nature that support it.
  • Business activity has a profound impact on the ability of nature to sustainably provide those services.
  • We are committed, as business and community leaders, to the well being of both economic and ecological systems, of both humans and other living things.
  • We believe that these goals are compatible (and where they seem to be incompatible, we are committed to finding better ways to do business that make them compatible).

We envision our company, suppliers and customers, and our community doing business in ways that:

  • Preserve, protect, and ultimately enhance the living systems—of this region, and the planet—that sustain our business and the larger human economy.
  • Provide ever greater value in meeting the real needs of our customers, suppliers, and communities.
  • Meet human needs in the most efficient and economical means possible, in order to include the greatest percentage of humanity.

To do this, we will:

  • Consider the requirements of the earth’s living systems in all design and operating decisions.
  • Not take more from the earth that it can sustainably provide.
  • Not provide to the earth more than it can sustainably absorb.
  • Analyze the life cycle operating costs and impacts of our facilities, operations, and products/services, as well as their initial costs.
  • Work to eliminate “waste” of all kinds from our operations, and to find safe, productive uses for any “non-product” that we are not yet able to eliminate.
  • Treat employees, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders fairly, honestly, and respectfully.
  • Take responsibility for the safety of our products/services in their intended use.
  • Take responsibility for the safety of our activities for employees and communities.
  • Take responsibility for the safe “end of life” recovery and reuse or recycling of our products.
  • Design our facilities, operations, and products/services to be ever more efficient, ever less dependent on materials and activities that poison, degrade or encroach on living systems, and ever more supportive of these approaches.
  • Do all these in a way that supports our economic well-being, and the economic well-being of those who depend on us.

We will measure our progress by the trends of our:

  • Resource productivity (unit of benefit provided per unit of resource used)
  • “Non-product” output (amounts and toxicity of “unsalable” materials and chemicals, formerly called “waste”)
  • Net carbon emissions (production of climate-changing greenhouse gasses)
  • Ecological footprint (demand on earth’s regenerative capacity)
  • Profit, both near- and long-term

We will pursue these steps with a commitment to:

  • Future generations
  • Continuous improvement
  • Open dialogue with our customers, stockholders, suppliers, and communities

What you need to do—Keep reading! This is a big field, too big for one book to cover, so this is not the only book you need (see Appendix B, “Resources,” online at www.informit.com/title/9780789739407 for some additional suggestions), but it’s the only one you need to start.

So lets get started!

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020