In Michael Porter’s highly regarded strategy model, companies gain competitive advantage by lowering costs or differentiating products. But today the traditional points of competitive differentiation had being squeezed on all sides. Third part contribution and the reasonable labor costs are available in almost any business, big or small. Other that, unassailable sources of advantage, such as access to capital or reasonable raw materials, are disappearing as markets go global. Companies that compete in advantages of environment are becoming ever more and more hard to establish and maintain.
This renovation of landscape requires refined business strategy. The capacity for innovation bringing imagination to bear to solve problems and respond to human needs. It all lies at the heart of success and Companies must find new and better ways to break out of the pack. Those that don’t will struggle to keep up in the marketplace. Read more
Companies find many ways to talk about how they handle environmental and social issues. Some focus on “triple bottom line” performance or sustainability. Others frame their work in terms of corporate social responsibility, stewardship, citizenship, or environment, health, and safety. Any of these approaches can serve to galvanize action and create Eco-Advantage. The key lies in execution—including environment and social issues in business operations. But each company needs to find the language and organizational structures that work within its own culture.
At the operational level, managing sustainability issues, no matter what the company calls them, works best with a defined focus. Thinking about environmental challenges alongside social issues such as health care, poverty alleviation, or how to serve the “bottom of the pyramid”—the untapped market of the world’s poorest people—quickly becomes daunting. Our research suggests that the skills needed to manage environmental issues and social concerns are quite distinct. For example, what’s required to ensure that a company complies with air-pollution permits, say, will have little similarity to what’s needed to develop a strong employee wellness program. Read more
For some enterprises, a new green perspective will be trans-formative, leading to fresh thinking, new markets, profitability gains, and increased value. For others, the environmental lens may emerge more gradually and modestly, as another critical element of corporate strategy. With time, these companies may find long-term, sustained advantage, but not dramatic immediate gains, front being green. For the big, heavy industries, the gains are closer to being assured. But smaller and “cleaner” companies will find surprising benefits as well. Read more
Errors and sometimes omissions regularly plague the completion of construction work. Numerous change orders are caused by errors that slow the pace of construction completion time frames that affect the expectations of customers as well as construction contractors. Errors do account for a substantial amount of generated change orders in the construction industry.
One innovative company introduces its method of decreasing a high percentage of change orders by using a series of check benchmarks that are documented to effectively diminish the need for excessive construction change orders. The company’s remedial answer to errors is found in its product known as Remedy Check System.
The company PCAssoc.com holds the patent for Remedy Check, which is a process that checks interdisciplinary systemic processes and identifies errors that often happen during the exchange of engineering and architectural plans and between plans and other design criteria. Read more
Global positioning system or GPS as it is called in short brings the whole world in your hands. You can monitor the progress of vehicles and track a whole fleet of trucks. There is a plethora of GPS tracking system available in the market. Many gadgets like mobile phone and computers come equipped with tracking systems. The advantages of GPS are many, owing to which, many businesspersons have adopted them as an integral part of their businesses.
The transport business owners stand to benefit hugely with GPS tracking units. They can keep track of their whole fleet of trucks from the comfort of their offices. The position and movement of all vehicles can be seen on the screen of the computer or mobile phone. Business owners benefit by being able to reduce cost of monitoring and increase profits. Due to GPS applications, fleet tracking becomes a piece of cake from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day. The system also enables you to track the route of the vehicles.
Before we can start with business, we need to do research and study on companies at various stages that dealing with environmental issues. For example, Sony have to learned it from the hard lesson with its main product, PlayStation game systems. Sony spending over $100 million building a supplier audit system to solve problems before they emerge with other company. In terms of Sony entertainment products, all Blu-ray Disc Player parts and all other products that are lead and cadmium-free, based on EU ROHS directive being limited, and major plastic parts of the Blu-ray Disc Player that are free of predominated flame retardants.
In late 2008, Sony reduced Blu-ray Disc Player packaging volume about 55% on select models. This resulted 43% reduction of CO2 emissions as a result of more efficient shipping the environment and creating better environment for us. Read more
We wish we could say that finding Eco-Advantage will be easy. But like excellence in any form, you have to work for it. We know this runs contrary to the message in many of the books and articles about “green business.” Ever since a few leaders like 3M demonstrated the .Payoffs of eco-efficiency, going green has been portrayed as a sure thing. Unfortunately, not every environmental effort produces win-win results.
Developing innovative products, bringing them to market successfully, keeping customers happy, and other elements of business success are difficult enough. Adding an environmental dimension opens up new opportunities but adds another layer of complexity to the management challenge. Gaining an edge means learning new skills, operating in new ways, and working through some hard trade-offs. In truth, the story is even more subtle. Some initiatives “fail” by traditional measures but create intangible value for a company. It’s often hard to tell when hard-to-measure returns are worth pursuing. Read more
When Katsuaki Watanabe took over as President of Toyota in zoo he made it clear that developing environmentally friendly technologies would be his top priority—even ahead of safety, quality, and cost. If this weren’t shocking enough, he also promised that his engineers would someday develop a car that could “cross the U.S. continent on one full tank of gas.” Talk about a stretch goal!
Goals for an organization can be splashy like Toyota’s or more concrete. Unilever, for example, set a fairly unsexy goal of zero liquid effluent from its 76 facilities in India. Watanabe himself set more realistic targets alongside his big 2oo-miles-per-gallon vision, including a sales goal of one million hybrid cars per year. Either way, fanciful or functional, stretch goals are a vital tool for provoking fresh thinking, promoting innovation, and building an Eco-Advantage. Read more
In 1997, a Conoco oil tanker and a tugboat collided near Lake Charles, Louisiana, opening up a hundred-foot gash in the tanker. Few remember this accident today for one simple reason: Not a drop of oil was spilled. Conoco, then owned by DuPont, had invested in “double- hull” tankers years ahead of regulations. One hull was ripped open, but the second held. “That spill would have been larger than the Exxon Valdez without the double hulls,” DuPont’s VP for Environment Paul Tebo told us. “Conoco would have been gone.”
What does this have to do with creating a corporate culture of environmental engagement ? Quite a bit. In 1989, when green issues were still off the radar screen of most of corporate America, DuPont’s visionary CEO Ed Woolard launched a board-level Environmental Policy Committee and established an Environmental Leadership Council made up of senior executives who met every month. Woolard’s green logic inspired fresh thinking across DuPont’s diverse business portfolio.’ Read more
Every business faces countless decisions about how to invest the next dollar. Should we spend more money on R&D, on new equipment, or on a new marketing campaign? Every business has some process, either formal or informal, for making these cost-benefit calculations and coming to a conclusion. For most companies, the decision hinges on out-of-pocket costs and potential financial returns.
WaveRiders operate like all other companies, but they think differently. They include more than the obvious dollar payoff in their decision making. When considering the return on an investment, they factor in benefits such as enhanced brand image and corporate reputation, improved employee morale, community support, reduced governmental red tape, increased speed to market, and competitive differentiation. These intangibles are hard to measure, but smart companies include them in their strategic planning, despite the difficulty. Leading-edge managers have taught themselves to fold intangibles into their calculations at every turn because they know that immeasurable sometimes produce the greatest value. Read more
WaveRiders consider short-term financial impacts, but they look past quarterly financial results before making important decisions. They know that maximizing shareholder value is not the same thing as maximizing quarterly profits. And they recognize that proper analysis of some issues, including many environmental challenges, requires longer timelines.
Companies make long-term business decisions all the time. They spend millions on R&D when the potential payoffs down the road are, at best, uncertain. They enter tenuous new markets like China and India in the hope that business will boom. And they invest in leadership training to build up “bench strength” and prepare inn executives. The Eco-Advantage Mindset requires that companies bring the same long-term perspective to environmental strategy. Read more
In the corporate world, a handful of companies are developing new ways of approaching a thorny problem: How do we grow and prosper while decreasing pollution and conserving natural resources?
WaveRiders build a foundation for Eco-Advantage by reframing how everyone in the company looks at environmental issues. For these companies, environmental thinking is not always the final word on strategy, but it is always a consideration.
In our research, we’ve found that this new mindset is absolutely critical to managing eco-risks, driving innovation, and turning environmental pressures into competitive advantage.Above point is highlight how WaveRiders use an environmental lens to change the way they think and sharpen their business strategies. After a while, these companies don’t have to focus consciously on finding an alternative perspective. Environmental thinking becomes intrinsic to how they do business. Deeply embedded, the Eco-Advantage Mindset arises naturally at every opportunity.
We studies dozens of companies during our four years of research. A few have not evolved in their thinking since the 1970s. They are still grousing about legislation and complying with it grudgingly. Others have begun to see the business opportunities in going “beyond compliance.” A few have embarked on bold new initiatives to provide solutions to the world’s environmental ills—like GE’s plan to sell renewable energy, efficient power generation, water purification, and much more.
The companies who “get” the interface between environmentalism and business—the ones that are on their way to reducing their environmental impacts, or “footprints,” while generating significant profits and sustained Eco-Advantage—have no single profile. They range from global conglomerates to niche textile makers. However, we found certain patterns. The leading-edge companies go beyond the basics of complying with the law, cutting waste, and operating efficiently. They fold environmental considerations into all aspects of operations. Specifically, they: Read more
What about small business. Can they sit this one out? In a world, no. Here are six reasons why:
How do companies create an Eco-Advantage? To answer this question, we first had to ask a more basic one: How do companies create competitive advantage in general? According to Michael Porter, from Harvard Business School, he describes two basic categories its of competitive advantage. A company can:
Portoer’s work on competitiveness proved a useful starting point for analyzing the Eco-Advantage strategies that WaveRiders using. Read more