Profits as well as the environment can be improved by the right approach to environmental bridging.
Here are a few examples.
Marks and Spencer is a great demonstration of environmental bridging. Their ‘Plan A’ sets out 180 Commitments, many of which have clear benefits to commercial performance by reducing costs and engaging customers and employees. Plan A is fully integrated in business management, with a £50 million innovation fund and a high-powered Advisory Board. Their 2011 Annual Report shows a £70 million net financial benefit from Plan A, up from £50 million the previous year. Read more...
Global giant GE caused controversy among some shareholders when its new CEO, Jeff Immelt embraced the environment and launched its 'Ecomagination' initiative in 2005. Since then he's been proved right in a big way. GE sold $85bn of ‘ecomagination’ products and services in 2010, and gained $130m of energy efficiency savings and other benefits.
Dell recognised that the end of a computer’s life could be a problem for their customers and the environment. The created the Asset Recovery Service, charging customers to remove computers, wipe the data and reuse or recycle parts. Now Dell collects over 60,000 tonnes of equipment a year and we estimate a revenue of several tens of million dollars.
Even resource risks also create opportunities for the alert. Electronics firm Umicore created a revenue stream as well as reducing supply risk when it developed an innovative process to recover precious metals from waste.
Some opportunities are yet to manifest in full. One of our clients providing business services is expanding to the larger corporate market. We helped them to set out their current green credentials ready to meet customer demands, and to prioritise next steps for when standards are raised.
Capping the opportunities is the creation of entire new businesses, grounded in environmental principles. The value created has been recognised by some of the world’s biggest companies, and quantified in their acquisition.
• Ben & Jerry’s acquired by Unilever in 2000 for $326m
• Body Shop acquired by L’Oreal in 2006 for £652m
• Innocent acquired by Coca-Cola in 2010 for an undisclosed sum over £100m