Environment: Value to Business (EVTB)
The goal of Environment: Value to Business (EVTB) is to guide corporate environmental professionals in planning, creating, measuring and communicating the business value of environmental activities. The primer is divided into four chapters – one for each stage in the Plan-Do-Check-Advance cycle of environmental management. By providing ideas, tips and examples from both GEMI and non-GEMI companies, this primer offers suggestions for communicating to key stakeholders within and external to their organization environment’s value to business.
Companies around the world are adding value to their corporations’ bottom lines in ways that could not have been imagined a few years ago. More and more companies are discovering that proactive environmental programs make significant contributions to profitability and competitiveness. In addition to reducing risk and avoiding costs from regulatory compliance programs, benefits are flowing from environmental initiatives that spur process innovation, increase worker productivity and morale, enhance brand image, streamline time-to-market, improve relations with regulators and local communities, and open new market opportunities. Professional environmental managers are key contributors to a company’s overall strategic business success. Environmental professionals in today’s companies share a unique vantage point. They address challenges that cut across all aspects of the business, from the plant floor to the boardroom. They are in an excellent position to identify problems and opportunities, and to broker information and innovative solutions. Yet in order to add real value, environmental professionals must be “plugged into” main-line business. It is important for business managers to understand the ways environmental activities can add business value. Environment: Value to Business is about focusing on this need for integration and communication and ways to achieve it.
EVTB provides a valuable tool kit for corporate environmental organizations and professionals, the ideas, examples, and case studies found in these pages will be of interest to a wider audience. GEMI hopes this primer will strengthen the growing discussion in business, financial and environmental circles about the value of corporate environmental activities and the links between environmental and business performance.
While EVTB explores tools and techniques that corporate environmental professionals can use to plan, create measure and communicate the business value of environmental activities, we believe that these ideas will be of interest to a much broader audience. In particular, business leaders and members of the financial community will find compelling examples of ways corporate environmental activities can contribute to profitability and competitiveness. In addition, the concepts addressed in this primer are directly relevant to corporate health and safety activities. EVTB is divided into four chapters—one for each stage of the Plan-Do-Check- Advance (PDCA) cycle of environmental management. Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM), ISO 14001 and other environmental management system approaches are all founded in this iterative process focused on continuous learning and improvement-making PDCA a useful framework for presenting the EVTB concepts and tools. Ideally, efforts to plan, create, measure and communicate the value of environmental activities will be seamlessly integrated into corporate environmental management systems.
It is understood that readers may be at different points in the PDCA process. Environment: Value to Business is designed to facilitate quick navigation; and each chapter provides useful tips and tools, key questions, and case studies. Of course, not all EVTB concepts and tools fit neatly into the “bins” of the PDCA framework. We have endeavored to denote some of these important links between chapters–where tools presented in one chapter can also be used in another stage of the PDCA process.