The elephant in the room is that while sustainability will continue to be relevant to the business operations of retailers and product manufactures, management has utterly failed to make sustainability a material or even a well understood concept for front-line employees, customers and most product brands, except during times of crisis.
Management consultant; Bestselling author
Jim Harris is an in international bestselling author and management consultant. He writes on the topics of technology, disruptive innovation, sustainability, how going green is profitable, leadership and trends. He speaks at 40 conferences and seminars a year worldwide. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at @JimHarris
Today is the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos (Jan 22-25). Many surveys and analysis will be presented at the Forum and side events outlining the problems and solutions the world and nations face. Here are some points of view that you will NOT likely hear coming out of WEF.
01/22/2014 12:07 EST
eCommerce will exceed $US1.2 trillion in 2013, according to a new report by eMarketer, and that's just for B2C transactions. The web is THE most important sales and marketing tool. There are only three things that matter in retailing according to age old wisdom: location, location, location.
01/15/2014 05:50 EST
Ask any economist and they will tell you that GDP growth is good. So if more people get cancer, that's great, because spending on health care increases. But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that more cancer, catastrophe and war are not good.
12/23/2013 09:17 EST
The IPCC Report was in the news for a couple of days and then disappeared from mass media news cycle. This is the largest crisis humanity has ever faced: Life on earth hangs in the balance. And yet the media attention given to Miley Cyrus twerking was infinitely greater than the coverage of the IPCC report.
11/11/2013 05:10 EST
I am in Davos at the World Economic Forum (WEF) where the top issues that world leaders must address are: unstable global economy, eurozone fragility; and financial system instability. Climate change only ranks as the 7th issue. To me, it's like a group of business leaders and "experts" on the sinking Titanic discussing the fragility of champagne sales. I am deeply concerned about the Alice-in-Wonderland perception of the environment's big picture.
01/22/2013 08:38 EST
Some businesses have demonstrated that they can implement and scale the environmental benefits far better traditional approaches to "saving the environment" while also delivering shareholder value. How successful will business be in influencing Canada's approach to environmental issues?
11/27/2012 05:32 EST
Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Operating Officers (COOs) are increasingly accountable for sustainability. A study by Deloitte -- Sustainability: CFOs are coming to the table -- found their accountability for sustainability had jumped sharply during the last year. Here are some of the drivers for the CFO's involvement in sustainability.
11/20/2012 12:28 EST
Canada need not wait for others to develop smart policy to promote energy development and environmental stewardship as mutually reinforcing objectives with Canadian interests in mind -- it won't happen and we have more at stake.
11/13/2012 12:07 EST
Every corporation has a culture. Some are more "in your face" than others -- such as those that kick-off meetings with a corporate cheer -- and, if you've never really worked anywhere else, you might not even realize it's there.
11/06/2012 08:56 EST
having a strategy is one thing, but being able to implement it is entirely another. After all, the value of a strategy is not what is written on the whiteboard or the back of napkin, it is the value unleashed by engaging the minds and hearts of motivated employees and suppliers.
10/30/2012 10:39 EDT
Print journalism is changing fundamentally. Three dramatic events last week make the point: On October 18, Newsweek magazine announced it will become a digital only publication in 2013, ending 80 years in print. Newspapers have failed, so far, to acquire the skill sets required for print journalism in the 21st century.
10/24/2012 12:36 EDT
Placing a price on carbon of anywhere from $10 to $80 a tonne can have a profound effect on business planning. It can help a company cut costs, while dramatically reducing its risk and exposure to rising energy prices and a price being put on carbon. Which brings us to an important question...
10/23/2012 08:10 EDT
Using sustainability as strategy can drive change within a company's supply chain by engaging suppliers and service providers with the resulting savings running into the millions of dollars a year. A case in point: one of Canadian Tire's most popular products is a six-foot folding utility table, selling many tens-of-thousands a year. The company collaborated with its supplier on product redesign and packaging to use less raw materials to make and package the product.
10/16/2012 07:48 EDT
The billions of dollars that the US sends to Middle Eastern countries to import is a choice. This has led Amory Lovins to state that there's more oil in Detroit than in Saudi Arabia. There's actually no oil in Detroit, but the reluctance of auto executives to pursue higher fuel efficiency standards, imposes billions of dollars of cost on North American companies and car owners.
10/09/2012 05:26 EDT
During a poor economy, it can be a challenge for a business to increase profitability as competition for the "cautious consumer" intensifies and there is increasing pressure on margins. But a recession offers the perfect opportunity to question the way things have always been done -- and drive out waste and inefficiency. One of Jim's favourite slogans is: "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste."
10/02/2012 08:12 EDT
In just the energy efficiency (EE) field, $2 trillion can be invested by 2020 with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 17 per cent. To put that into perspective: that rate of return is better than investing in the stock market or in real estate over the long-term. Why aren't we executing some of these simple, economically viable -- in fact hugely profitable solutions?
09/25/2012 11:00 EDT
Decades of experience have shown that environmental initiatives pursued in isolation of the economic benefit are largely immaterial. But when environmental objectives are framed as business strategy and tied to business operations and measured in terms of cutting cost and increasing profitability -- significant environmental benefits are generated. And so we believe that environmentalism can save business, as the more powerful engagement tool that business has at its disposal to drive innovation.
09/18/2012 08:01 EDT
Seventy-five per cent of Canadians want an Independent judicial inquiry according to a national poll sponsored by the National Post and released on March 12 by Ipsos Reid. Since when would electoral fraud go uninvestigated with all findings not made public?
03/14/2012 07:40 EDT
This robocall scandal is not just about some inconvenient phone calls, it's about subverting our democracy and altering the outcome of the election. And it's about Harper remaking Canada in his own image.
02/28/2012 12:03 EST
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