Joey Tabone, Head of Marketplace Sustainability is inspired by the trend towards businesses embedding long term sustainability strategies and moving towards the circular economy.
Natural resources underpin the global economy. Businesses shortlisted for the Sustainable Products and Services Award have shown how the sustainable use of natural resources is the key to prosperity.
To maximise the environmental benefits, collaboration with key stakeholders to influence beyond direct operations is vital to further cut dependency on natural resources. Whether it is a big retailer, like ASDA, supporting suppliers to share information on business efficiency or Fujitsu creating products which enable customers’ to reduce carbon emissions or Veolia supporting the creation of new revenue streams by valuing waste as a resource, business is demonstrating that building effective partnerships is key to further reducing environmental impact.
Our overall category Winner for 2015, Veolia has created many innovative and tailored solutions for customers to help save and preserve resources as well as providing energy efficiency solutions. This has led to great commercial success with 20% of revenue currently being delivered from circular economy activities with a target to increase this to 40% by 2020. Veolia is a business truly valuing natural resources and embedding this throughout its business operations. Veolia is an example of transformational change rather than a business simply evolving.
Highly Commended company Sky has taken a life cycle analysis to reduce the environmental impact of its products – going far beyond the manufacturing process to analyze the customer use phase and end of life of its products. This value chain approach has not only benefitted Sky but it’s great to see that suppliers and customers are also benefitting in terms of reduced environmental impact and cost savings.
Fortune Favours the Brave
Our shortlisted companies have realised the business benefits of such activity making an incredible combined saving of over £11 million from resource efficiency measures both within direct and indirect business operations. The business opportunities go beyond the usual bottom line returns with companies stating wider value creation including a strengthened supply chain, creation of new business streams and increased positive perceptions amongst stakeholders including their customers.
Reassuringly, we see more and more businesses embedding long term strategies involving all business functions to help deliver ambitious objectives and targets – helping them prosper while cutting or significantly reducing natural resource use. A further trend sees companies adopting more circular economy thinking - closing the loop on resources by changing the more traditional linear business model. Companies are valuing waste as a resource enabling businesses to reduce environmental impacts, make economic gains and thereby securing their future prosperity.