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Greening your Balance Sheet .. it is absolutely essential

22 June 2012

That Harvard Business School guru of all things marketing, Professor Michael Porter, has recently said “The financial & social benefits of taking environmental action now outweighs the cost”. In other words – it’s profitable to be green.

This is a revelation because there is now a wealth of evidence to support the business case for action ..

  • In a recent global survey of 75 CEO’s, 93% see sustainability as crucial to future success*
  • MIT Sloan Business review and the Boston Consulting Group in a recent study cite that “Sustainability nears a tipping point” because the majority of respondents are profiting from sustainability activities - obtain report here).

While the news is fresh and encouraging, there still remain the everyday challenges of businesses to turn a profit and realise available efficiencies, however many business don’t have a process for approaching their sustainability & environmental performance.

According to Clive Blunt, the Central Coast Principal from GreenBizCheck, the feedback from many Central Coast based small to medium businesses has identified three common barriers to becoming greener;

  1. It was too expensive (an unattractive ROI)
  2. It was too complex (was a drain on limited resources)
  3. There was not a recognisable world class sustainability & environmental performance standard

Many businesses had unrewarding experiences with consultants crawling around their operations, asking none too intelligent questions and leaving huge invoices behind with no realised financial benefits. Happily, times are changing and there are now a few progressive companies taking more advantage of low cost, smart technologies and global alliances that have been developed to deliver real value with the primary focus on the business case.

“Businesses are being asked more and more to demonstrate their green credentials in relationships with major clients and larger competitive tender bid processes. It’s no longer enough to show a ‘green policy’ or a few ‘green practices’ – evidence and performance data are now being demanded” according to Clive Blunt.

Blunt said, “Being green in business is no longer a ‘nice to do’ .. it is absolutely essential to growth and to the core issue of being efficient”.

“Business is the engine of social reform. It has the same responsibilities as a parent does for a child. Smart parents know they are raising adults (not children) and smart businesses know they are raising future leaders, not just employees”.

“With the imminent on-flow effects from the carbon tax, small to medium businesses should be actively looking at ways to offset significant rises in energy costs”.

“The not-for-profit sector on the Central Coast have many shared challenges including insufficient resources and time – and this is a sector that GreenBizCheck is passionate about supporting through a discounted program for PBI status enterprises” said Blunt.




By Carolyn Wall, GreenBizCheck