Following a 12-Steps Program to Sustainability

Formal 12-step programs are based on a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction or other behavioral problems. While not following the true form of the 12-step method, the actions outlined in the “12 Steps to Sustainability: How Every Company Can Implement Sustainability to Improve the Bottom Line and the Environment” report are intended to reduce environmental impact and “other behavioral problems.”

According to the authors, Kanal Consulting, “Concerns over climate change among consumers, employees and political leaders are growing. Leading companies too are becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on the environment, and their access to dwindling resources. As a result, many are paying more attention to the sustainability of their operations—as well as seeking new revenue opportunities from a growing number of environmentally conscious customers.

“These companies are realizing that ‘being green’ is not just the right thing to do, but is also an important catalyst for value creation. Whether it’s from reducing energy and materials usage, or selling environmentally friendly products, these companies have seen that sustainability can help their bottom line, and help the planet at the same time.”

The 12 key points in the report are:

• Integrate sustainability into the company’s vision, values or core mission statement.

Companies that have a mature level of sustainability practices are those that have incorporated sustainability into their company’s vision, values or core mission statement.

• Set goals that are specific, credible, measurable and normalized for business changes.

Companies that are more successful in striving for sustainability also set ambitious goals.

• Treat sustainability projects with the same business case requirements as other projects.

Sustainability efforts shouldn’t be just about doing the right thing; they also have to make business sense.

• Let the CEO and senior executives be the key spokespeople, and demonstrate internal commitment.

A business adviser and problem solver, Gail is managing director of Business Strategies Etc., which provides strategic marketing and business planning services and manages the execution of marketing communications tactics that help companies:
• Define their sustainability strategies,
• Deliver a positive, sustainable image,
• Gain credibility, trust and respect, and
• Measure the results of their green initiatives and actions.

Gail is a nationally recognized speaker on a wide range of subjects and brings enthusiasm and a unique blend of experience to the podium. As an industry analyst and journalist contributing to publications in the United States, Canada, India and Brazil, she has covered a number of beats, particularly sustainability in printing and mailing, print on demand, variable data printing and direct mail.
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