The story below illustrates the impossibility of using symptoms to drive change.
What we have to aim for is transformation in processes that will reduce the resource intensity of society; the organizations that recognise this need are the ones whose evolving business model fits them for a low carbon future.
An example of this can be found in a 1998 BSI video on the Environmental Management System standard ISO14001, in which Vauxhall(GM) at Ellesmere Port reported savings on Energy and Water use.
The current position at GM shows that this is a fundamentally flawed approach, as the focus should have been on the environmental performance, i.e. resource intensity of its products.
In conventional terms, we can say that they failed to understand the concept of ‘quality’, which is that which
Maximizes the value added to society resulting from the creation of goods and services, whilst working to continually reduce the ‘loss to society’ resulting from their creation.
Business still in dark over climate threat
While many corporate giants have woken up to the risks climate change poses for their business, many of those further down the supply change are blissfully unaware of how it may harm their trade.
This is the key finding of a study undertaken by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an initiative set up to encourage big business to be open about its emissions.
The CDP asked hundreds of suppliers working for major companies for their views on regulatory and physical risks and of the 634 who responded, a full third said they did not believe they faced any threat at all.
Only 58% considered climate change posed a risk to their operations.
Interestingly, the report showed that Asian suppliers expressed the highest level of concern over climate change and many are using governance and employee incentives to drive positive action.
Of the 77 responding suppliers based in Asia, 66% cite board level responsibility for climate change issues, well above the 54% global average.