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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > California Environmental Compliance

Find the Carbon In Your Value Chain To Compete

The cost of doing business will shift dramatically and fast as the world puts a price on carbon.

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Global goals on warming to reduce the overall temperature by 2 degrees, scientific and technology metrics, deadlines for petroleum reduction milestones, finance mechanisms to meet a new world focus, and possibly a global cap-and-trade agreement will in effect, put a price on carbon use.

Find the carbon in your value chain... before the market does

Carbon will increasingly become a competitive issue. Not just because of risk management, but because of the cost of scarcity.

The cost of doing business will shift dramatically and fast as the world puts a price on carbon. And if the global governments do not take hold of the situation of rising use of petroleum, overfishing, fresh water scarcity ... we fill face increasing costs of doing business based on scarcity, disasters and volatility in societies.

Regulations will continue to vary by country...and even region. So operating costs in different locations will vary widely, as well. And operating costs are where green and global intersect.

Big carbon users will be hit first and hardest by changing environmental conditions... whether driven by escalating populations, political mandates or environmental degradation. The largest carbon industries include:

  • energy
  • cement
  • natural resource,
  • chemicals
  • intensive industries

Get smarter. Work smarter.

"Going green is essentially about doing more with less."

New pressures in governance of communities and buildings require that we gather data, understand carbon risks and opportunities, and price carbon into investment and strategic decisions.

Start early.

Waiting until regulations are finalized can be disastrous for everyone involved -- local governments, business... and families. Leading companies already know that risk management mandates smarter use of resources, better trained people, and coordinated strategies -- and these smarter strategies by leading companies will continue pressing sustainability strategy and get ahead of the curve.
BOOK: Green Recovery, by Andrew Winston

"Going green is essentially about doing more with less," says Winston. And that's something every family has known when the economy, of environment or community is struggling from drought of resources.

"Green Recovery" shows how companies use technology and green thinking to create smarter, stronger businesses that do well in good times and bad.

Green Recovery argues that environmental challenges and increasing "green" awareness have not dissipated in the wake of the financial crisis. Business leaders must face both problems simultaneously. Fortunately, some of the same strategies that address environmental issues can help companies survive today's economic conditions and prosper when the good times return.

Green Recovery offers a concise, engaging road map for using green initiatives to:

  • Get lean: generate immediate bottom-line savings by reducing energy use and waste
  • Get smart: use value-chain data to cut costs, reduce risks, and focus innovation efforts
  • Get creative: pose heretical questions that force you to find solutions to tomorrow's challenges today
  • Get engaged: give employees ownership of environmental goals and the tools to act on them

Andrew Winston is also the co-author of the best-selling book Green to Gold.

Changes are ... and They're Here!

Climactic changes continue to accelerate and force emergency reactions:
  • Severe floods
  • Severe wind and water damage from hurricanes, etc
  • Vast water shortages from ice pack melt
  • Climate refugees

Business Opportunities

Business may actually provide many of the solutions to cope with disasters. Large-scale disasters might drive more companies down the sustainable path.

Companies will face serious business continuity issues. If regions face drought conditions with limited time to prepare, companies operating in those areas could find themselves unable to run at full capacity.

Water is Different

Winton points out that water planning a very serious issue for business: if there's a shortage, industry will be at the back of the line. This might come as a shock to executives used to having enormous influence over political decisions.

But water goes primarily to three areas - agriculture, personal use, and industry. If you're the mayor of a city, are you going to short-change food, homes, or businesses?

Regional Complexity and Patchwork

Without a global framework, each country will be left to make its own policies if at all, which will vary enormously. Regional agreements will continue to evolve in a patchwork pattern. In the U.S., and perhaps elsewhere, the lead environmental agency may regulate carbon instead (the EPA is moving this direction already).

Figuring out how to operate in many different carbon frameworks at the regional level will introduce additional complexity and cost into day-to-day operations.


LSeveral mega-forces are driving this wave and are still gaining strength:
  • Looming carbon cost and/or regulation
  • Greening of the supply chain
  • Technology-driven transparency
  • Generational shifts in expectations from consumers and employees,

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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