With the opening ceremony of the London Olympics today, organizers have prepared to celebrate what may be the one of the greenest Olympic Games to date. For Olympic organizers, sustainability has been a major focus in planning the Games' venues. Forbes notes that existing or temporary venues are utilized whenever possible. For permanent structures, "Each new venue was required to achieve a minimum 15 percent improvement against Building Regulations." The site of London's Olympic Park has also been noted for its radical transformation.
While today's highlight may be the greening of the Olympic games, business sustainability can be a transformative process too - bringing your business the gold! In contrast to current economic forces, business sustainability is creating a bright spot of opportunity for new and evolving business. Specifically, leading organizations are finding ways to address today’s challenges and transform economic roadblocks into business sustainability opportunities.
Today small businesses and entrepreneurships represent over half of all United States employment. This number continues to grow domestically and around the globe as more individuals seek self-employment in these economic times. With more individuals looking to become self-starters, small businesses sustainability leaders are positioning themselves to play a much more significant role in our economic future.
Within our professional consulting practice, we find that small business is often, by design, perfectly suited for sustainability implementation. Direct interactions over the years with these organizations reveal that small enterprises are typically more intimately connected to their stakeholders. By this, we mean that small businesses are:
• More in-touch with employees: engaging and actively managing employees on an individual level.
• More in-touch with investors: closely working business relationships to meet the expectations of its stakeholders and investors.
• More in-touch with customers: working directly with consumers and business customers to deliver products that meet specific requirements and delivery expectations.
• More in-touch with suppliers: directly communicating with smaller set of business partnerships often directly integrated into the business operations.
Companies that experience difficulties with business sustainability implementation often cite the challenges of business visibility, stakeholder engagement, change management, or overall goal alignment. Our sustainability consulting experience has shown that through increased eco awareness and stakeholder engagement, business sustainability implementations have a much higher rate of success than forced action. There are ways to green your business and go for the "Olympic Gold."
- 15 Small Business Tips to Going Green
- Sustainability: A Small Business Differentiator
- How Cloud Computing Helps Small Business to Reduce Emissions and Improve Productivity
- IdeaScale: Small Business Tool for Stakeholder Engagement
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- Telecommuting: help your Business, help the Environment
- The Growing Role of Virtual Conferencing and Webinars in the Sustainability Meeting Landscape
- 5 Ways to a Greener Website
- A Guide for SME's: How and Why to go Paperless
- Intuit's GreenSnapshot: Do You Have it in Your Green Biz Toolkit?
- CRM: Golden Nugget for Sustainability in Business
- Top 10 Benefits of Bicycle Commuting Programs for Businesses
With small businesses having closer and a more direct line of communication with key business stakeholders, the potential for an aligned business sustainability understanding is available. We find that progressive small businesses are working with stakeholders to create a business case for sustainability and leveraging small business resources already available within the organization. These companies are defining opportunities for improvement, linking them to specific business metrics, and creating scorecards to evaluate success. Go for your green Olympic Gold!