How Business Can Lead Sustainable Growth

Now is the time for companies to set the tone on sustainability leadership.

Tamara Barker | UPS

Today the private sector is uniquely positioned to step forward and assume a higher level of sustainability leadership. The changing policy landscape around the world presents an opportunity for companies to create a consumer-driven marketplace that is better for the environment and better for business.

Companies and brands that have engaged consumers with innovative sustainability initiatives – from P&G shampo
o bottles made from recycled plastic to the green bonds issued by Starbucks – have built goodwill and improved their bottom line.

We have seen first-hand at UPS how sustainability investments grow our business. UPS has more than 8,100 alternative-fuel and advanced-technology vehicles, which reduce our environmental footprint and allow us to explore promising new energy sources.

Through our proprietary ORION navigation system, we’re able to find the most efficient routes for our deliveries, reducing fuel use and emissions.

Such investments happen only with support from a company’s senior leaders, and we are proud to be among those working for a more sustainable future. Gaining that support in your own company and building the right business case for sustainability takes time. Here are four proven examples that can lead to better results:

Explore Alternative Fuel and Energy

Prices have dropped on many alternative energy sources, including solar and electric. Size and scale for any large operation remain a challenge – alternative fuels in heavy-duty vehicles is a prime example. But when making sustainable change, energy is a good place to start.

Optimize Supply Chains

The most sustainable mile is the one you or your goods never travel. A thorough examination and optimization of supply chains can lead to efficiencies, both for the environment and your profit margin.

Embrace Technology

Technology and big data allow companies to scrutinize, analyze and optimize every inch of their operation. With more insight on daily activities, you can make smarter decisions about fuel and energy usage.

Get Employees Involved

Your people are often the first to uncover innovative practices. If you give employees new opportunities, it leads to better decisions and a more sustainable workplace. Celebrate and reward creative thinking, and you may find that your most sustainable assets are the ones you had all along.

These are just some of the ways we can chart a new course for our businesses. With Earth Day around the corner, there’s no better time than now to begin striving for a more sustainable future. goldbrown2

You might also like:

How Good Is Your Sustainable Supply Chain Program?

The Team Approach to Earth Friendly Innovation

Financing the Green Transformation

Tamara Barker is UPS Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environmental Affairs.

Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed

2 Comments

  1. Ray Thompson

    Tamara, good stuff! The “mile you don’t drive” is a valuable mile indeed. And you’re spot on about employee involvement and engagement. If we felt the same way about sustainability as we all do about safety the world would be a better place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s