Desktop version

Home arrow Business & Finance arrow Driving sustainability to business success


Green Awareness – Eco-design

Today the customer is concerned about green awareness (e.g., global warming, pollution) related to the products and services they purchase tied to their “environmental footprint” or “ecological footprint.” In the area of development of goods and services, eco-design can be used to consider environmental impacts during its whole lifecycle stages (e.g., procurement, manufacturing, use, disposal), searching for new environmentally friendly solutions.

By assessing design and development, many companies improved operational costs tied to reductions of consumption of energy, materials, waste, etc.

Working together as a team, with inputs from procurement, design, production, and marketing, promotes the ability to assess environmental impacts and improve the eco-design at all life-cycle stages of the product. Product design criteria would need to be identified at each stage (e.g., resource reduction, use of recycled materials, waste recovery, reuse, longevity, etc.).

FieldTurf – Reuse of Tires – Artificial Turf

FieldTurf, a division of Tarkett Sports, has captured eco-design in the manufacturing of artificial turf. Recycled tires are used in the base for the field, and the company has addressed use of local raw materials tied to the installation, thereby reducing costs of shipping, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions generated from transportation. The manufacturing site based in Calhoun, Georgia, has an integrated management system, including quality, environment, and health and safety.

LEED – Green Building

It is interesting to note that the building of green architecture (building products) for commercial buildings has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. This is recognized as an international mark of excellence for green buildings globally, which has redefined the green construction of buildings and communities in which people live and work.

Many countries have green building councils, which utilize the LEED rating system, as it recognizes the sustainability tied to building design, construction, and operation. Since companies have been following the LEED program, there have been astronomical savings in energy, recycling, water, etc.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) invests over $30 million a year in LEED to maintain, operate, and improve delivery to its customers (185,000+ industry professionals). It is working to help not only in saving customers money but also in conserving energy, reducing water consumption, improving indoor air quality, driving innovation, and building better material choices by as much as 40 percent.[1]

The UK design and assessment for sustainable building is “BREEAM,” which was launched in the UK by BRE and has more than 110,000 certified buildings. This is an accepted standard in the UK and has been included in local plans. BREEAM builds on legislation and standards to award credits. It provides credits for complying with standard commissioning codes and meeting targets, such as Waste Management Plans (regulatory requirement in the UK). Its initiatives also include a framework that encourages project teams to stay engaged after the handover of the building to ensure that the building is running effectively.

The growing concern about “green” is seen in developing countries as well. The Asian Development Bank promotes and supports green growth in developing countries.

In 2007 China launched two national green building standards: the Green Building Design Label (GBDL) to certify the design of buildings and the Green Building Label (GBL) to certify operational efficiency.

India began green buildings prior to this, in 2004. India's developers can choose from the country's national green building system, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), or LEED India.

There are many stakeholder pressures facing companies today, from environmental issues, pollution, climate change, and water quality and consumption to regulatory requirements and costs tied to operations for materials, waste, etc.

The process area within a company that deals with design and development or eco-design needs to consider not only shareholder and customer requirements but also government policies, taxes, funding incentives, competitive products/services, bank lending and liabilities, insurance risks, and concerns from the public, employees, and pressure groups as a whole in the life cycle of products and services.

By paying attention to eco-design, bottom-line benefits can occur in cost savings to material and energy use, waste reduction, and process efficiency, as well as meeting customer requirements and generating a competitive advantage for your organization. There are other marketing considerations tied to labeling energy schemes and recycling initiatives, which can provide added value to the customer and promote a competitive feature for the product/service.


NetSuite – Cloud Computing

NetSuite is a public software company founded in 1998 by Evan Goldberg and Larry Ellison. Zach Nelson has been President and CEO of NetSuite since 2002, and in 2007 the company became the leading provider of cloud computing business management software suites in the world. In 2013 he was included in the 50 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech list and was Fortunes Businessperson of the Year in 2012. This is definitely a company with vision and an understanding of driving business sustainability and success through technology for customers, as it has over 10,000 organizations of every size in a broad range of industries.

Transparency, accessibility, and the integration of systems are crucial today to conduct business processes effectively and efficiently. Many corporations deal internationally, and cloud computing enables executives to check in on financial performance wherever they are. This type of system is excellent not only for large multinationals but also for small to medium-sized organizations that need the flexibility of accessing information.

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, working in a global marketplace requires not only the basics for accounting but also support for currency management and compliance with local regulations, taxation, and business practices. With added complexities human error definitely would increase.

The other consideration when working globally is the management of the life cycle of fixed assets, from acquisition/accounting processes to depreciation and disposition.

  • [1] Those wishing to show their leadership in the green building movement may participate and register their project online: usgbc .org/leed/certification.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics