"If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change."
-- John A. Simone Jr.
P&G and Microsoft have both recently strongly committed themselves to “sustainability.” P&G’s Lafley saying:
P&G’s commitment to sustainability is strategic. It is how our company conducts business. [Specifically]
- Develop and market at least $50 billion in innovative and sustainable products, up from a goal of $20 billion.
- Reduce carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, water usage and disposed waste by 20 percent, leading to a 50 percent reduction over the last 10 years.
- Increase use of rail transportation from 10 percent now to 30 percent by 2015.
- Increase the number of children benefiting from P&G’s Safe Drinking Water Program to 300 million, up from the original goal of 250 million.
and Microsoft’s saying:
Recently our CEO, Steve Ballmer, sent out an e-mail to all 90,000 Microsoft employees. He made clear that environmental sustainability is a core value for the company that is embedded in all we do,” Robert Bernard said in an interview with CNET News. He added that Ballmer talked about the topic as a corporate belief, “as opposed to a green campaign or a marketing campaign or a marketing issue.
P&G’s commitment is wide ranging and touches on a number of nodes of the value web, including resources and trade, atmosphere, energy, water, transportation, and family and community. They seem to be systematically working sustainability into their value chain.
Microsoft’s statement, though bold, is a little more confused, referring to “environmental sustainability.” Not quite sure how Microsoft is sustaining the environment. Rather than “environmental sustainability” I would recommend something like “environmental awareness is a core value”.
Sustainability is bigger than you, me, the environment, climate change and renewable energy. It’s what links all of the essential nodes of the value web together.
I applaud both companies for their concern and commitment. However, I believe both have a way to go before they fully embrace and embed sustainability in their organizations. They need to take the lead by leaping from focussing on discrete parts to developing strategies that link these parts holistically to what they do.
Sustainability is about relationships and connections and not disconnected metrics. The sooner we see this the sooner we can start doing to get sustainable results.
Tags: A. J. Lafley, carbon dioxide emissions, climate change, core value, Microsoft, P&G, renewable energy, safe drinking water, Steve Balmer, sustainability, sustainable products, value web, waste reduction