2Sustain

A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for May, 2012

New Study Values Good Sustainability Practices in Utilities at $20-25 Billion

May 23, 2012 | No Comments →

Target Rock Advisors, LLC today released the results of an analysis suggesting that the value of good sustainability policies and practices could be worth between $20-25 billion to utility investors. This first-of-a-kind estimate was based on a comparative analysis of the total returns over ten years for the 49 U.S.-domiciled utilities included in Target Rock’s 2012 sustainability rankings and indexes, previously released on February 14, 2012.

“Earlier this year, we demonstrated that as a group the stocks of utilities that scored highly in Target Rock’s sustainability rankings outperformed companies with lower sustainability performance over the ten years ended December 31, 2011,” stated Richard Rudden, chief executive at Target Rock. “Now, we have been able to place an estimate around the potential value that improved sustainability practices might bring to utility equities, and it is not insignificant. Our analysis makes another compelling case for sustainable and socially responsible investing in the utility sector.”

The $20-25 billion estimate reflects the incremental market value realized by the Target Rock High Sustainability Index relative to lower-performing utilities, plus the opportunity cost associated with being less sustainable for the Medium and Low Sustainability Indexes over the ten-year period 12/31/01-12/31/11. That represents approximately 10% of beginning market capitalization or roughly 1% per year on average.

While the precision of this estimate is necessarily limited by the universal complexity of sustainability assessment, it does provide an informed effort to place direction and boundaries around the potential industry-wide shareholder value of sustainability as measured by market capitalization metrics.

This analysis indicates that utilities’ sustainability efforts contributed positively to long-term total returns, even if relatively modestly. It is important to keep in mind that this analysis includes a period of time, particularly the earlier years, when only a handful of the most progressive utilities had sustainability plans in place. The impact of sustainability practices on shareholder returns could be more substantial over the next decade now that more utilities are taking the issues seriously.

The results of Target Rock’s analysis are contained in a Research Note titled “The Value of Sustainability: At Least $20-25 Billion for Utility Investors” posted on the company’s website, www.targetrockadvisors.com/research-reports/.

Center for Sustainable Procurement – Help for Global Procurement Managers

May 15, 2012 | Comment (1)

BSR and Hilton Worldwide have launched the Center for Sustainable Procurement to help global business procurement managers integrate sustainability into their purchasing decisions. Funded in full by Hilton Worldwide with day-to-day management by BSR, the Center will develop:

  • Research, case studies, and surveys on topics such as incentives for category managers, key issues for buyers to consider at the product level, the efficacy of third-party labels and certification, and more
  • Metrics analysis that focuses on integrating sustainability into existing approaches such as “total cost of ownership”
  • Educational guidelines, webinars, and web content for companies to share with internal sourcing teams
  • One-on-one and collaborative consulting projects for a small group of BSR members to examine current purchasing processes, develop solutions for integrating sustainability into decisions, and share lessons collectively

The idea for the Center originated with the procurement and supply chain work BSR supported over a two-year period with Hilton Worldwide during which the company developed an analysis and comparison tool focused on quantifying product sustainability to help inform buying decisions. The criteria looked at nearly 100 different measures, including core lifecycle-assessment components such as inputs, manufacturing, packaging, logistics, use, and end-of-life. In total, the company collected and assessed nearly 1,700 SKUs across multiple product categories such as food and beverage, property operations, and rooms representing over US$165 million in spend.

Hopefully programs like this one will help companies of all sizes to incorporate sustainability goals and objectives into their procurement strategies.

Carbon Economy Summit Highlights Cost Savings

May 08, 2012 | No Comments →

Sustainability stakeholders and business executives are gearing up for the Carbon Economy Summit in Toronto on June 6, a full-day event focused on environmental and cost savings, brand enhancement and risk management. Sessions will cover top strategies for controlling emissions and costs from manufacturing, transportation, facilities, infrastructure and supply chain.

Keynote presenter Margaret Wente, award-winning columnist with the Globe & Mail, will discuss Ontario’s green energy policies. The agenda also includes a dynamic panel on the highs and lows of using social media to communicate sustainability.

Speakers represent Natural Resources Canada, University of Waterloo, Holcim (Canada), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quantis, LoyaltyOne, Rogers Communications, CarbonZero, Heenan Blakie, Energent, and more!

Session topics include:

  • Energy management and incentives;
  • Sustainable supply chains and transportation;
  • Carbon and cost control;
  • Social media and green;
  • Carbon policy.

These kind of events not only raise awareness, but provide a valuable forum for sharing new sustainability program best practices.

Looking for a “Clean” Job?

May 03, 2012 | No Comments →

KleanJobs.com is a new job search engine specifically tailored to a broad sector made up of clean technology products and services, including energy management, sustainability, and careers related to accounting for and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Green collar jobs include employees across the fields of engineering, accounting, sales, marketing, manufacturing and product development. The high demand for renewable energy, as well as companies focusing on sustainability initiatives, is shifting more jobs into what has come to be called “The Green Economy.”

“Green economy employers have very specific needs and requirements for their workforce,” said Greg Schreiner, Clean Tech Recruitment Manager at RedFish Technology. “This field is becoming very competitive, and we see the demand for highly qualified employees with broad based knowledge of green technologies increasing. Getting the right people in the right roles is every company’s first responsibility, and we are looking to sites like KleanJobs.com and CleanTechRecruits.com to help us identify the right people.”

In addition to offering a search site for green-collar workers, KleanJobs will also be branching out into related services, such as job certification in green economy skills and resume writing and editing services. Company co-founder, PJ Stoural, says he hopes to address a need for employers in this field to locate the talent they need. “There’s a huge unmet need for US workers, as well as returning US service members, to get trained in these fields. There are estimates of up to 46,000 new clean jobs in the US this quarter, and we have employers who want to hire.”