In a global economy, sustainability has become an essential part of business strategy. Leading organizations worldwide understand that sustainability is a key factor in lowering costs, opening new markets and driving efficiency and innovation throughout an organization. A cornerstone of sustainability is pollution prevention, or P2. Through the effective implementation of P2 and Energy Efficiency (E2) strategies, businesses can incorporate sustainability into day-to-day operations in ways that promote long-term cost savings and improved environmental performance.
Successful implementation of pollution-prevention and energy-efficiency initiatives are often a direct result of an organization's ability to identify and assimilate relative information, recognize the relationship of environmental performance to the business model and focus existing systems and resources towards specific goals. The full support of management is essential in planning, structuring and implementing sustainability efforts within a business framework.
Organizations must have both the ability and the desire to systematically implement pollution-prevention and energy-efficiency opportunities into business operations. An organization that is committed to achieving P2 and E2 outcomes will need to integrate into its day-to-day operations strategies that include eliminating or reducing pollution at its source.
Proactive and Reactive?
An organization's ability to achieve improved environmental performance often directly relates to whether its management is reactive or proactive. A reactive organization is typically driven primarily by regulatory compliance or by trying to correct problems that could have been prevented through proactive planning. A proactive organization is driven by strategic planning and long-term commitments to improving its operations.
Whether a business operates in a reactive or proactive manner is an indicator of organizational capability. The more proactive a company is, the better positioned it will be to respond effectively to implementing P2 opportunities and achieving sustainable practices. Strategic planning and effective management systems are key elements of a proactive organization.
The Implementation Gap
Organizations that resist change make implementation of pollution prevention and energy management opportunities a challenge. By adopting a systematic approach, such as the Energy Star Seven-Step Process, organizations that struggle to overcome built-in barriers and a lack of basic knowledge about sustainability strategies can begin to plan and implement a successful program through an established process. By making a commitment to improved environmental performance, assigning a leader and assembling a team, organizations can establish and strengthen behaviors to achieve long-term success with sustainability efforts.
The framework of the Energy Star Seven-Step Guidelines for Energy Management has been proven to be an effective way for organizations to systematically get to P2 and E2 outcomes.
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