Daily Archives: February 15, 2009

Green CAPS and the Triple Bottom Line (of Sustainability)

In one of its final critical issues reports from 2008, CAPS addressed the topic of Green Corporate Strategies and how green issues will increasingly influence the actions of consumers, politicians, and other societal stakeholders as we move further into the 21st century.

In addition to highlighting key issues in the establishment of green strategies, internal strategies, and external strategies, the report also addressed the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework and how one may use it to measure the green-ness of a given approach or strategy. Incorporating economic performance, environmental performance, and social performance, the TBL assesses a given initiative in terms of the “business case”, the extent to which environmental harm is minimized, and the extent to which the company fulfills its social obligation to be a good corporate citizen — as a truly sustainable initiative is one that succeeds on all three counts.

More specifically, an economically sound green strategy will address energy and water costs, waste disposal costs, maintenance costs, operational costs, and / or health costs; an environmentally sound green strategy will address emissions and pollution, greenhouse cases, natural resources, and / or waste disposal; and a socially sound green strategy will address the corporation’s planet stewardship, it’s recognition that it is a global citizen, and future generations.

The report also offers some suggestions on how to start:

  • Smart small, but do something.
  • Insure proposed strategies are aligned with overall corporate strategies and goals.
  • Incorporate green into your purchasing processes and RFXs.
  • Be proactive.
  • Make sure you’re not just greenwashing.
  • Form a cross-functional team to scale your efforts company wide.

This is probably the most useful contribution of the entire report, which doesn’t really say anything that hasn’t been said before. The biggest problem most companies have with green is where to start, so anything that provides advice on this issue is certainly worth a few minutes of your time.