Guest Post by Julie Urlaub, Managing Partner of Taiga Company

Businesses around the world are feeling the pressures of rising energy, water, and the potential costs of emissions.  While business risks and costs are driving many behavior changes, leading businesses are exploring sustainability concepts to identify opportunities.  Many companies are addressing these risks by exploring the value aspects of business sustainability.

Energy intensive businesses are feeling the impacts of changes in the energy market.  Cliffs Natural Resources, a mining and natural resource company, reports that the company’s emissions, energy consumption and water use all increased in 2008, according to its latest sustainability report. However, the company is focusing on the opportunities to address and differentiate from the competition in the areas of:

•    Governance, Management and Transparency
•    Environmental Stewardship
•    Promoting Sustainable Development in Local Communities
•    Economic Impact
•    Respecting Employees

As business sustainability consultants working with businesses and individuals, we stress the value in creating a business case for both personal and business sustainability.   When facing the financial pressures of energy and water consumption, our professional consulting focuses on the sustainability concepts of efficiency and conservation to create value.

We look to the leading edge of business sustainability for innovative ideas and value creation. At Dell, the company is exploring projects to incorporate more renewable energy  in its operations.  They are implementing business sustainability programs to convert more than 25 percent of its global energy to renewable sources.  The company’s current eco actions have resulted in 100 percent of its 2.1 million square-foot global headquarters campus being powered with 100 percent green power, and its 240,000 square-foot  Oklahoma City campus 100 percent with wind energy.

Businesses should take a proactive sustainable approach rather than a reactive response to external factors. Decisive and immediate action to become a business sustainability leader is creating a competitive advantage and allowing businesses on the forefront to capture additional market share.

Recommended Resources

Lean SCM Professional On-line Certification Program Lean SCM Professional On-line Certification Program
This On-line Certification Program has been developed in association with the American Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Irish Institute of Industrial Engineers, and the Canadian Professional Logistics Institute.

The Program consists of 9 on-line lessons that provide participants with a comprehensive overview of Lean Thinking and its application. It also outlines and demonstrates the essential lean tools and practices that can be applied to your business in order to achieve significant savings to your bottom line. It can be undertaken by individuals through on-line distance learning study.

© 2009, Julie_Urlaub. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Julie_Urlaub (7 Articles)

Julie Urlaub is Founder and Managing Partner of Taiga Company, a sustainability consulting firm located in Houston, Texas dedicated to accelerating the integration of sustainability concepts in business and daily living. Julie leverages over 15 years of Consulting and Business Development experience in Energy Management Services, Oil and Gas, Medical, and Information Technology industries. Today, as a sustainability consultant, Julie speaks, writes, and advises clients on a variety of issues related to the intersection between environmental stewardship, sustainable business practices, and sustainable living. Visit Taiga Company's website