In the same week that Apple CEO Tim Cook told climate-change denying investors to sell their Apple stock, an interesting, and challenging, report from strategic advisors lavery/pennell suggests that a new, sustainable model for industry has emerged estimated to be worth €100bn in additional profits for European companies, with the benefit of creating 168,000 new jobs and, most importantly, a 14.6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The new model is a response to today’s business challenges involving three stages:
1) Improve non-labour resource efficiency
2) Reinvest some of these efficiency savings in sustainable inputs (materials & renewable energy)
3) Develop innovative new products and grow market share
The report cites a carpet tile manufacturer (Interface) as evidence of the success of this approach. The company has cut it’s energy use by 40 per cent since 1996, and now recycles 43 per cent of its raw materials. It has also reduced its emissions of carbon dioxide by 90 per cent, sends zero waste to landfill, and recycles all its water. As a result, Interface is now the largest carpet tile company in the world, with revenues of $1 billion.
Intuitively, this kind of approach makes sense – this report is a valuable contribution to building an evidence base to demonstrate the value that well-planned and executed ‘green’ initiatives can have for people and the environment which can also be profitable.