Taking a proactive approach to resource efficiency helps firms to identify new commercial opportunities, says Carbon Trust in new report sharing best practice
BT, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Stagecoach and Whitbread demonstrate that companies which prepare for the forthcoming “resource crunch” can boost their competitiveness, concludes the Carbon Trust in a report showcasing the sustainability efforts of the four firms.
With competition for land, water, energy and materials set to increase dramatically in the coming decades, the trust says that businesses need to assess their exposure to supply risks and that this will enable them to identify new business opportunities.
“We urgently need to find new methods of production, address wasteful consumption and develop innovative business models that put sustainability at the heart of business operations,” warned the trust’s chief executive Tom Delay.
The report highlights how, after assessing the environmental performance of thousands of farms, Bord Bia is able to demonstrate that the Irish agricultural sector has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the Europe, offering a way to differentiate itself from less sustainable competitors.
Meanwhile, Stagecoach has made sustainability key to its strategy to provide “greener, smarter travel”, which aims to produce fewer carbon emissions than its competitors and private car journeys. It has undertake a range of initiatives focused on fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, waste management and water conservation, for example, which has enabled it to improve the carbon efficiency of its global operations by 30% since 2007/8.
“Whatever sector, there are sustainability actions that present tremendous commercial opportunities for business leaders thinking beyond short-term gains and looking to truly establish a sustainable business model,” said Delay.
The Carbon Trust’s report, Opportunities in a resource constrained world, how business is rising to the challenge, can be downloaded from carbontrust.com