- Category: Low-Carbon Biz
31 Jul 2012
- Published on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 10:23
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Puma, Nike, Nestlé, Unilever, Natura and Ricoh – these 6 companies have taken major steps towards sustainable growth, according to a research by consulting firm Deloitte.
Together with green consultancy Volans, Deloitte looked at how major companies deliver efforts to address climate change.
John Elkington, Volas founder, coined the term “zeronaut” to describe people or groups of people who manage to promote wealth creation while having no or zero impacts towards the environment. With this concept, Deloitte came up with the Zero Impact Growth Monitor 2012 that studied the sustainable efforts of 65 leading companies across 10 industries.
The report showed that 70 percent or 45 companies are in the “enterprise” level when it comes to tackling climate issues. They have a “clear vision” of what they intend to achieve in a short to mid- term as regards to sustainability, including specific actions and measures.
However, “most of them limit their approaches strongly to their focus resulting in a less holistic approach with a long-term vision and legacy,” said Deloitte.
Meanwhile, 20 percent of the companies surveyed fall under the “experimentation” level - just starting to discuss most sustainability areas through internal schemes and initiatives.
Significantly, 6 companies - Puma, Nike, Nestlé, Unilever, Natura and Ricoh - have reached the “ecosystem” level of providing a zero impact business, as they have embedded policies into a long-term strategic vision, in an effort to curb their negative environmental and societal footprints.
They are also in the process of establishing “sustainable business ecosystems” considering their suppliers and other important stakeholders in their actions, Deloitte noted.
However, none of the 65 companies achieved “economy” level or the top maturity stage as per the standards set by Deloitte, including realistic and measurable short and long-term goals with “clearly defined benchmarks.”
What does it take to become a “zeronaut”?
The research found that many businesses are not yet ready to become zeronauts.
Most of the companies assessed are doing “too much, but only for a bit,” leading them to implement policies that are “less bad,” instead of coming up with ones that are good for the environment.
In addition, definitions and descriptions they used to explain their sustainability efforts in different areas assessed lack consistency.
“The lack of a clear paradigm leads to a lack of clear intentions, ambitions, success definitions, as well as gaps between vision and implementation, an imbalance between environmental and social focus and a variability in performance between and even within industries.”
Deloitte suggested that collaboration and co-creation could help to eliminate this barrier, saying that there should be common definitions and measurement methods that will facilitate “comparable and transparent target setting.”
“A joint understanding is needed of what all industries need to achieve together (and with their respective stakeholders) in order to jointly arrive at a sustainable economy. A consolidated approach and an adaptation plan towards Zero Impact Growth can be a valuable contribution.” – EcoSeed Staff