Sustainable Solutions

Finding the Links Between Sustainability and Business

A recent article by Joann Whitcher on, “Making a Case for Sustainability,” looked at the relationship between sustainability and return on investment. It made a number of good points, including the fact that customers are looking for sustainable products more and more.

The article quoted a consultant who said that “sleuthing for environmental impact reductions” is an excellent way to squeeze out waste. She continued, “Your money works harder for you when what you buy is used rather than wasted.”

I agree. And that’s one of the best arguments to use with your C-suite to validate pursuit of sustainable solutions.

I was also struck by the article’s recommendation for organizations to define what sustainability means. To some, it’s about the environment. To others, it’s more about people or profits. But the point here is to clearly state what it is, so that all stakeholders know what they can do to help the company reach its goals.

At xpedx, we believe it’s important to deliver the products our customers want while at the same time we’re ensuring responsible stewardship of natural resources. Our sustainability platform has three key elements.

We’re working toward Sustainable Operations by reducing waste from our facilities and the fuel consumption of our fleet. We have earned the ENERGY STAR® designation in dozens of our buildings by making them more energy efficient. We are a partner with SmartWay® to manage our fleet and have implemented a national recycling program to manage waste to landfill. 

xpedx is also offering Sustainable Product Choices, including our maintenance of chain of custody for paper products, so that our customers can meet their internal sustainability objectives. And we are providing Sustainable Leadership with consulting resources for our customers and third-party collaborations.

These three areas form the core of our sustainability efforts at xpedx. I would love to know what you are doing to advocate for sustainability in your place of work. Please let me know by leaving a comment here on my blog.

Comments for Finding the Links Between Sustainability and Business

Name: Maggie Seeds
Time: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I find that this post ties in well with your post from May 2012. You cited an article which noted that companies with a strong focus on sustainability efforts perform better in the long run than companies without focus on sustainability. One key takeaway for me was that the studies found that the performance difference was more pronounced in companies facing consumers than in companies that sell to other businesses. I think it’s great that companies are seeing the value in marketing a “green” strategy to a consumer base that is increasingly mindful of their own sustainable choices; however, it is equally important to drive sustainability adoption up the supply chain where a significant proportion of unsustainable practices inherently exist. To find true sustainability, companies must find a way to collaborate with their supply chain partners to effectively take a product from raw materials to the hand of the consumer in a sustainable, transparent way. The ROI of Sustainability makes the point that nearly all major corporations and government and school organizations are considering sustainability in their buying decisions. Those that will find the most success are the organizations that are committed to working with suppliers in their sustainability efforts to ensure efficiency across all steps of the value chain.

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