What Does Green Really Mean?

Sustainability as a Core Business Strategy and Value

Adiel Gavish Sustainability Strategist The Living Business Program Director Federated Conservationists of Westchester County

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The Jumble of Green Jargon, Certifications, Reporting Systems

Sustainability 2.0 An outcome-focused holistic approach. An ethic and process that builds prosperous businesses creating innovative systems, products and services. Businesses founded on good financial results, responsible use of resources, and community well-being.

Sustainability 1.0 compliance, CSR, reduction, limits, siloed, environmental

Sustainability 1.0 vs. 2.0

The definition of success is changing The Triple Bottom Line

social, environmental and financial success “Although we inherit the Earth from our fathers and mothers, we borrow it from our children.”

Sustainability 1.0 vs. 2.0

What is the common ground? Where do you look for guidance? How can you navigate this ever-evolving field? How can you determine on your own what is truly “green” and sustainable?

What is “Going Green”?

“We cannot solve problems using the same thinking that created them.” - Albert Einstein

Re-Think, Re-Design, Re-Imagine

What is “Going Green”?

3.8 billion years of research and development Nature holds the secrets to sustainable design in her DNA • Sustainability is embedded in everything nature does and makes • Not an add-on • Holistic, not siloed

Nature is the Guru of Green!

The Earth as a consultant Nature is a consummate innovator • Aggressive innovation • Survive and thrive Look to nature for the “greenprints” of sustainability • Systems • Products • Services

“Nature is full of solutions looking for problems to solve.” Christopher Viney, Materials Engineer

Nature is the Guru of Green

Life has been performing design experiments on Earth’s R&D lab for 3.8 billion years. What’s flourishing on the planet today are the best ideas - those that perform well in context, while economizing on energy and materials. Whatever your company’s design challenge, the odds are high that one or more of the world’s 30 million creatures has not only faced the same challenge, but has evolved effective strategies to solve it. - The Biomimicry Guild

Nature as Model, Mentor & Measure

Life Creates Conditions Conducive to Life Optimization not maximization – multifunctional design Leverages interdependence – recycles all materials – fosters cooperative relationships Uses benign manufacturing – life-friendly materials (chemical-free)

The Principles of Sustainability

Who Am I? I… Store carbon Fix nitrogen Distill water Make complex sugars and food Accumulate solar energy as fuel Create micro climates Self replicate

The Principles of Sustainability

The Principles of Sustainability

Life Learns, Grows, Adapts and Evolves Resourceful and opportunistic - uses free energy - shape rather than material - place-based Feedback Loops - continuous feedback, continuous improvement - antenna, signal and response Integrates cyclic processes - waste is food, nothing is wasted Resilient - diverse

The Principles of Sustainability

Life Creates Conditions Conducive to Life

The Principles of Sustainability

The Most Important Question to Determine “Greenness”: “Does my system, product or service help to create conditions conducive to life?”

The Principles of Sustainability

“Green business” has reached an inflection point. It’s no longer simply a brand-building or risk-management tool—it has become a new source of business innovation, operational improvement, and revenue. - Mary Driscoll President CFO Conferences “Sustainability has moved from risk mitigation to a business and revenue opportunity,” - Mark Newton of Dell Computer “Our environmental stewardship is integral to the way we do business. It is not an aside, or an add-on; it is core to the way we behave.” - Michael Monahan, CFO of Pitney Bowes Inc.

Sustainability in Action

Sustainability is a core value that defines behavior- an ethic that informs all decision making and is integrated into all business systems, products and services.

Infuse your business with the principles of sustainability.

“Design is the first signal of human intent.” Bill McDonough, Author, Cradle to Cradle

Sustainability in Action

The Four Pillars Each pillar is supported by several key initiatives with near and long term quantitative targets and was vetted through a rigorous stakeholder engagement process. Clearly articulated social and environmental goals.

Timberland and Sustainability

In recent years, many companies have developed green stories or green initiatives, and we applaud this growing momentum. For Interface, however, “green” is just the beginning. Ours is a long term commitment to sustainability, a systems-based perspective that fundamentally changed our company. It touches operations and manufacturing, it guides senior management and our associates’ decision-making, and it influences our relationships with customers, suppliers and the entire web of commerce in which we conduct business. Sustainability is part of Interface’s DNA.

Interface

BIOBASED RAW MATERIALS BIOMIMICRY CARBON NEUTRAL CLIMATE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT ENERGY LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT WASTE CLOSING THE LOOP SUPPLY CHAIN

Interface and Sustainability

“Costs are down, not up, dispelling a myth and exposing the false choice between the economy and the environment, products are the best they have ever been, because sustainable design has provided an unexpected wellspring of innovation, people are galvanized around a shared higher purpose, better people are applying, the best people are staying and working with a purpose. The goodwill in the marketplace generated by our focus on sustainability far exceeds that which any amount of advertising or marketing expenditure could have generated – this company believes it has found a better way to a bigger and more legitimate profit – a better business model.” Ray Anderson, President and Founder, Interface

Interface and Sustainability

“We are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction.” - General Douglas MacArthur

Sustainability in Action

Green Genius is Greenius

Look to the principles of sustainability to help you through the process to lead you in the direction you want to go to inform your decision-making as a part of your core business strategy and values

Sustainability in Action

CSRWire.com GreenBizz.com BiomimicryGuild.com EnvironmentalLeader.com SustainableLifeMedia.com SustainabilityPracticeNetwork.com

Some of my favorite resources

Discover your own Greenius!

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