Author Archives: RAC

What is Business Sustainability – Really?

Many people and businesses think sustainability is about green initiatives and saving the environment. That is just one very small component of what business sustainability really is.

A more well rounded definition would be:

Sustainability is an increase in productivity and/or reduction in consumed resources without compromising product or service quality, company competitiveness, or a company’s profitability while helping to protect the environment for the future.

The Institute for Sustainability, a division of Resources Associates Corporation, helps small and mid-sized companies understand, incorporate, and implement business sustainability into their strategic plans. Many large companies have already started initiatives that have proven to be profitable while having a positive environmental impact.

RAC is excited to announce that on April 19, 2012 during our second professional conference of the year, Scot Case, an internationally recognized expert in sustainable business strategy development, will be sharing his expertise and recent experience helping organizations achieve profitable results while having a positive environmental impact. (Scot’s complete bio can be accessed with the link below)

During a recent speech at the Berks County Conservancy, Scot was quoted as saying: “People (companies) thought that sustainability was some kind of tree-hugging, hippie freak show, but what people (companies) have begun figuring out is that sustainability is actually a huge business strategy.”

Another reason RAC is so excited about Scot’s presentation is that we share a similar business philosophy. In addition to a company having a well defined strategic plan and vision, companies also need to incorporate five key questions into their strategic management system.

  1. To succeed financially, how should we appear to our stakeholders?
  2. To satisfy our stakeholders and customers, what business processes must we use?
  3. To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve (creating
    innovation)?
  4. To achieve our vision, how should we appear to our customers (creating loyal customers)?
  5. To satisfy our stakeholders and customers, what must we do to address environmental
    concerns?

Successful companies know that focusing on profitability, strong business processes, innovation, and loyal customers in addition to their impact on the environment is what builds sustainable businesses. We thank Scot in advance for his contribution to the success of our April event.

scot case sustainabilityAbout Scot Case

Scot Case is an internationally recognized expert with more than 18 years of professional experience in sustainable business strategy development, responsible purchasing, green supply chains, and environmental marketing. As Director of Markets Development for UL Environment and Vice President of TerraChoice, Scot helps connect retailers and consumers seeking environmentally and socially responsible products with the manufacturers supplying them.

Scot has testified before the U.S. Congress on green marketing issues and has consulted with a variety of organizations around the world including the White House Office of the Federal Environmental Executive; Walmart and its suppliers; the World Bank; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Japanese Green Purchasing Network; government agencies in the Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Australia; the National Institute of Governmental Purchasers; National Association of State Purchasing Officials; and dozens of U.S. Federal agencies and state and local governments.

He has published more than four dozen articles, case studies, and book chapters. As a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he wrote an extensive series of reports documenting the growing environmental purchasing movement. Scot was a key contributor to the Sins of Greenwashing studies, which continue to receive considerable media attention including interviews with him on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Business Week, and many others. He was also featured in a recent Emmy-award winning documentary on green purchasing.

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Leadership and Sustainability

How would you define the difference between leadership and management? Our thought is leadership should be focused on the future, innovation, where the organization is headed, as well as determining what are the right things for the organization to do. … Continue reading

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A Case Study for Sustainability

Berea College located in Berea Kentucky, founded in 1855, employs 485 people. Berea is one of seven work colleges in the national Work Colleges Consortium. The college focuses on providing a strong academic program as well as a holistic approach … Continue reading

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Sustainability: The Competitive Advantage

Unless forced by regulation many small to mid-sized organizations may only consider the adoption of a sustainability strategy based on documented financial value. Often leadership considers the principle objective of the organization to be profitability, and they see new or … Continue reading

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Sustainability Roadmap

In the Harvard Business Review article The Sustainability Imperative, authors David Lubin and Daniel Esty wrote, “Most executives know that how they respond to the challenge of sustainability will profoundly affect the competitiveness and perhaps the survival of their organizations. … Continue reading

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Sustainability Makes Sense for Small Business

Market changes and economic challenges can greatly impact small business as well as create constraints that typically do not impact larger companies. So with today’s challenges creating a strategy of business sustainability is more important than ever before. Committing to … Continue reading

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Be a Sustainable Organization Through Customer Loyalty

Significant changes in customer retention rates have resulted in extraordinary improvements in profitability. One survey found that a 5% increase in customer retention consistently resulted in a 25% to 100% increase in profits. These almost unbelievable results would suggest that … Continue reading

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Balancing Your Business

Business leaders are currently balancing four different business contexts: The world as they knew it before the downturn. The downturn itself. The world in front of them as they look for new growth and opportunities for innovation. What will the … Continue reading

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Initiating a Strategy of Sustainability

Building and growing a financially viable business and committing to environmental issues that are sustainable go hand in hand. Building a sustainable business is often described as: What will your business look like in 25 years? Can you envision that … Continue reading

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A Vision for Sustainability

Sustainability began with the concept of being ‘green,’ becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability is a viable and proven business strategy, which takes into … Continue reading

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