Minding their own business a farmer rotates his crops for the best yield. A brewer founded a brewery to make the best beer. A chef opened a restaurant to serve the best taco. A distributor expands her territory to distribute more efficiently. They all have strong values and are good corporate citizens providing great jobs yet none of them have Sustainability plans or programs today.
Most companies didn't start their business to save the world. So why would respected companies such as these not have a sustainability plan today? And even more surprisingly, how could these businesses still have halide lights when replacing the energy-hogging lights with LED would deliver a 240% return on their investment? The short answer is that it's not their business.
Sustainability must be built into a company's business goals, measured, and evaluated with its other KPIs for meaningful impact.
If a company has a Sustainability or CSR role, it often lies outside of operations, yet operations generate the business's GHG; therefore, little is achieved when the two are misaligned. Frequently in a CPG company, the Sustainability role will not have a financial return as part of its performance review, while the Operations role will not have a GHG metric in its performance review. In today's day and age, both metrics should be evaluated.
Sustainable solutions are not deployed this year because there is no budget. Yet, there is an opportunity cost in unnecessary utility expenditure, kWh, GHG emissions, and more. And too often, due to the misalignment between Sustainability and Operations, there is no proper budgeting for the next five years causing further issues.
When a sustainable solution is not adequately vetted, communicated, and deployed, it can disrupt operations.
The business fears deploying the wrong sustainability solution or deploying multiple solutions in the wrong sequence. What's the opportunity cost of inaction?