Next-Gen Sustainability 101
2 min read

Next-Gen Sustainability 101

Next-Gen Sustainability & You
Next-Gen Sustainability 101

Greenhouse Gas Inventory & You

Many companies are considering their environmental impact these days. Some impacts are far away, in other countries, other regions of the country, some are in the middle of the ocean or in the upper atmosphere. Some are local, in our parks, aquifers, impacting the health of citizens through regular exposure to toxicity.

Achieving zero- or negative-emissions, net zero carbon, or net negative carbon, is a multi-faceted undertaking. One can purchase carbon offsets or donate to a nonprofit, possibly reporting net zero carbon on impact statements. However, as the organization grows, so will its environmental damage, and so will its offsets bills. The revenue officer won't like this. Instead, we can go beyond, investing in transformational change that improves weaknesses, enhances strengths, and tells the right story.

When we attempt transformational change toward a net-zero or net-negative carbon supply chain, we start by taking two paths: we perform a greenhouse gas inventory, sometimes called a Life Cycle Assessment, or “LCA,” and we undertake a carbon-waste-water assessment of the entire supply chain, including in all buildings and facilities. Creativity and vision are utilized to select an approach that reduces cost and risk, and increases quality and desirability.

Sustainability Forever

Next-generation sustainability is like an asymptote, or poetically, “infinity space.” Do we invest in our waste stream, our energy footprint, the multiple buildings in which we operate? Do we buy offsets? This is a strategic calculation based on your individual organization.

It's better to start today than wait until you’ve grown more or revenues have normalized. Now is the time to save money, increase profits, and increase your positive contribution to achieving a society free of waste. Many state and national governments have incentive programs for green procurement, and a growing number of customers demand it.

There may be no homeostasis in climate, but an enlightened anthropocene  may be!

Creativity, People, Structure, Budget

The zero- or negative-emissions program itself must be supported by the Revenue Officer and stewarded by a cross-functional sustainability division. The effort needs nourishment, dedication, and endless support. It needs an annual budget, and a By-Laws amendment protecting the program from elimination in economic downturns. Writing a sustainability division into the By-Laws will surely enable organizations big and small to achieve net zero carbon in the next twenty years.

A growing number of citizens want to buy and build products and services that are climate solutions by design. So grab a piece of paper, a colleague, and start building your next-generation sustainability strategy today. Did you read my post about how rapid prototyping is a key to climate innovation?

Through collaboration across revenue generation, product, supply chain, and environmental impact accounting, we can improve quality in our organizations, and in the world.

Till next time,
Matthew

PS. I run a next-generation sustainability advisory service that works with companies to generate next-generation sustainability strategies. Do you know anyone who needs help crafting their sustainability story? Referrals are eligible for future specials offered through our partners. Reach out to Matthew Eshed @  contact@climatetechadvisors.com

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