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home > Business > Sustainability

"We're seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings."

- Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

As the scientific community weighs the potential severity of our actions against the adaptability of our ecosystems, another type of mass extinction follows.

This one is the extinction of the old ways of doing business and old profitability models.

The new way is to use the environmental challenges and regulations as a disruptive opportunity. With the prevalence of social media, customers are more likely to reward good civic behaviour. The resulting transparency will also make it more difficult to sweep many problems under the rug. The almost ubiquitous data collection and analysis capabilities will allow regulators and competitors to more easily compare sustainability portfolios of similar corporations.

And, contrary to some fears, it is not expensive either. The key success factors are effective leadership and the right IT investments - specifically in systems that use information to streamline processes and eliminate a whole lot of "brown" cost. The resulting adaptability can be both the oil and lifeblood that will allow corporations to run smoothly for a long time.

The idea is to build on-demand supply chains, optimize logistics, improve internal efficiencies, tap into electronic business opportunities, stay on top of science and research, and build powerful and effective relationships with your customers.

The "greenification" strategy holds the potential for raw materials and infrastructure cost savings as its welcome side effects. Savings in cap and trade, taxes, and public wellbeing are others.



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