2Sustain

A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for October, 2012

Defense Industry Sustainability Budgets Expected to rise by 7.3%

October 22, 2012 | No Comments →

A new report, “Sustainability in the Global Defense Industry 2012-2013: Trends and Opportunities, Budgets, Defense Industry Procurement, and Marketing Initiatives” from Strategic Defense Intelligence, that analyzes what sustainability means to the global defense industry and how it is being implemented. The report provides a comprehensive account of how executives in the global defense industry perceive sustainability and also explores the key drivers and challenges of sustainability management. Furthermore, it attempts to forecast the change in demand for various sustainable products and services in different markets across the globe. The report provides access to information categorized by region, company type, and sizes.

A few notable observations:

  • 55% of respondents claim that ‘adopting video-conferencing’ is a key energy efficiency measure they have implemented. In addition, the use of ‘energy efficient facilities or control systems’ and ‘set definite goals for savings’ are the other most implemented energy efficiency measures, as noted by 43% and 42% of respondents respectively.
  • 59% of defense buyer respondents consider ‘recycling’ to be the most-used practice for waste management, while ‘landfill’ and ‘incineration’ are the other widely followed practices, as noted by 29% and 18% of respondents respectively.
  • The top three regions expected to experience the fastest growth in the defense industry in the next 12 months are the US, Germany, and the UK, as stated by 57%, 55%, and 48% of respondents respectively.
  • On average, buyer sustainability management budgets are expected to rise by 7.3% over the next 12 months..
  • Respondents from defense organizations consider ‘reduction of energy consumption’, ‘effective minimization of waste’, and ‘effective minimization of water consumption’ to be critical factors for supplier selection.
  • ‘Energy-efficient facilities’ and ‘composite stack materials’ are identified as the products and services that are most expected to see an increase in demand, as noted by 45% and 33% respondents from defense organizations respectively.

This report is a result of responses derived from SDI’s B2B panel of senior decision making respondents and helps in understanding the implementation of sustainability in the industry and its impact on business. It also includes analysis of responses from senior stakeholders, including detailed segmentation, which helps the reader to make well-informed business decisions. The high number of responses from C-level or equivalents ensures optimum credibility and is responsible for accurate snapshots of the industry’s best sustainability practices.

All in all, a good read.

New Report Analyzes Sustainability Impacts of Transportation Fuels

October 12, 2012 | No Comments →

Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) new report assesses the total sustainability impacts of commercial transportation fuels as well as the market outlook for a complete range of fuel types. The report will help large-scale fuel purchasers make viable decisions that lessen impacts to the environment and society and enhance economic growth and development.

The report—the first in BSR’s Future of Fuels initiative—synthesizes information that is currently available and offers new research that, for the first time, provides a comprehensive view of the sustainability impacts generated through the life cycle of six fuel types: gas/diesel, natural gas, biofuel, hydrogen, electric power (battery-powered vehicles), as well as the “fuel” represented by greater efficiency.

With world energy consumption set to rise by nearly 40 percent by 2030, the sources and structures of our transportation fuel systems will radically change—in potentially contradictory ways: Even though the production of renewable and hyper-efficient energy is on the rise, the rapid growth in developing economies is driving a quest to uncover the cheapest energy wherever it is found—often without full consideration of sustainability impacts.

BSR’s report outlines key findings related to the sustainability impacts of fuels, the market outlook of fuels, and solutions that will promote long-term sustainability.

Key findings related to the sustainability impacts of fuels:

  1. Our collective knowledge of the total sustainability impacts of fuels has numerous gaps. In particular, our understanding of sustainability impacts related to social and economic issues is less precise than our understanding of fuels’ environmental impacts.
  2. In order to avoid unintended consequences and promote solutions that will have large-scale impact, we need to manage the many sustainability issues associated with fuels more holistically.
  3. Addressing systemic issues requires a long-term perspective that is often at odds with the short-term requirements of business and politics.

Key findings related to the market outlook of fuels:

  1. Advanced technologies for renewable and clean energy will require major investments and policy support to become commercially significant.
  2. Oil will remain a driving force for decades to come but will cede its share to many other technologies. In particular, the economic viability—and secure supply—of unconventional fossil fuels may slow the transition to lower-carbon fuel sources.
  3. The greatest certainty in the future of fuels is the growing diversification of fuels in the marketplace, with oil ceding part of its share to all other fuel types.

Key findings related to sustainability solutions:

  1. Although fuel issues have proven to be controversial, companies and their stakeholders, such as government, NGOs, scientists, and consumers, have a common cause in scaling up efficiency and best practices in production and fuel and vehicle management—and there remains much to do.
  2. Value chain transparency and engagement presents an opportunity for innovation. Companies need to find more advanced ways to process, share, and make decisions based on the fair analysis of all relevant issues, including information about fuel sustainability.
  3. Long-term energy policy is lacking, and there is potential for business and government to work together more creatively to develop strategies enabling fuel production and use that is both sustainable and commercially viable.

For this research, BSR consulted leading companies and purchasers of fuel, including Coca-Cola, JP Morgan Chase, Nike, Shell, Suncor, UPS, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Walmart; as well as NGOs, academic, and research institutions such as Forest Ethics, the International Labor Organization, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Nature Conservancy, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the World Resources Institute.

The full report is available at www.bsr.org/en/our-insights/report-view/the-sustainability-impacts-of-fuel.

Global Demand for Sustainable Health Care Driving “Greener” Products & Guidelines

October 05, 2012 | No Comments →

At a recent 2012 CleanMed Europe Conference, a research study was showcased revealing that increased global demand for more sustainable health care is driving the creation of “greener” products and purchasing guidelines among health care institutions. It’s one of several key findings from a new white paper, commissioned by Johnson & Johnson, that was unveiled to more than 400 hospital procurement officials and health care industry leaders from more than 15 countries. The white paper can be accessed at www.earthwards.com.

Johnson & Johnson commissioned interviews with health care experts and thought leaders to produce the white paper, The Growing Importance of More Sustainable Products in the Global Health Care Industry, to further probe the findings from its research conducted earlier this year. That global research offered some eye-opening statistics:

• More than half (54 percent) of hospitals say green attributes are very important in their purchasing decisions;
• The majority (85 percent) of hospitals rate being free of heavy metals and latex, end-of-life solutions and energy efficiency as important attributes;
• More than one-third (35 percent) of hospitals switched suppliers due to additional green/ sustainable product offerings; and,
• Not surprisingly, 40 percent of hospitals expect their future RFPs to include questions/criteria regarding green attributes of products.

These data also reflect the surging interest in guidelines to inform “greener” purchasing decisions. According to expert interviews, health care leaders such as Kaiser Permanente have created sustainability scorecards which require suppliers to provide environmental information about products. Other institutions have adopted Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) programs to achieve similar goals.

Accordingly, more than 90 percent of research respondents that have an EPP program feel it is important in driving purchasing decisions. Also, those most interested in purchasing more sustainable health care products are purchasing and materials managers (42 percent) followed by C-suite executives (21 percent).

Indeed, experts cited the proliferation of sustainability in nearly all aspects of health care purchasing. According to Practice Greenhealth , a U.S.-based not-for-profit that encourages environmental best practices in health care, emerging areas for sustainable purchasing include energy-efficiency and sustainable energy, waste reduction (particularly packaging and styrofoam), elimination of halogenated flame retardants and other toxic chemicals and sourcing local, healthier food.

Experts also noted that “greener” decision making will be balanced with a strong focus on the mission of treating patients and caring for their well-being and safety. Accordingly, Amerinet, HealthTrust, MedAssets, Novation and Premier, the five largest GPOs that secure a combined $135 billion in medical products each year, recently announced their endorsement of a standardized list of questions suppliers will need to answer regarding the impact their products have on human health and the environment.