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SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER PRESENTED BY


Saving energy is good for business

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To find rebates for easy upgrades that help you save energy and money, please visit aps.com/BetterBottomLine or call (866) 333-4735. Program funded by APS customers and approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES: REALIZING EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES PRESEN T ED BY

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce November 2015

RESE A RCH ED A N D WRIT T EN BY

Mike Slaven Mick Dalrymple, ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives Mara DeFilippis, ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives CO L L A B O R AT I N G CO R P O R AT E PA R T N ERS

Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Public Service (APS) City of Phoenix Public Works Department DIRTT Fair Trade Cafe Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Intel Raza Development Fund Sonoran Waste Disposal Sprouts Farmers Market Recycled City Reliance Wire & Cable Waste Management ED I TO R Monica Villalobos C R E AT I V E D I R E C TO R Carmen Martinez

A research publication from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, www.azhcc.com, (602) 279-1800 Cover Illustration © kras99 — Fotolia.com

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

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Resource Innovation and Solutions Network

Developing transformative innovative solutions through collaboration RISN supports a global network of public and private partners to develop technologies and practices that create economic value from discarded resources and drive a circular economy.

Become a partner – Propose a project – Be an innovator

resourceinnovation.asu.edu

AZ Thrives: A sustainability summit for minority business leaders

Develop and share strategies through B2B opportunities that promote economic and community prosperity February 22, 2016 Phoenix Convention Center For more information and to register, visit sustainabilityfestival.asu.edu

A part of

Sustainability Solutions Festival


LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CEO The term “triple-bottom line” is gaining popularity in the business world—and for good reason. In short, the term describes “the broader costs, benefits, and impacts involved in doing business,” as outlined in this groundbreaking white paper, Sustainable Best Practices. More specifically, the “triple-bottom line” addresses growing trend and need among companies today, small and large, to consider not only traditional “bottom-line” profits but also the social and environmental impact of doing business. In my capacity as president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I can attest to our organization’s strongly held belief that achieving greater “triple-bottom line” results is not just the right thing to do, but it’s essential to long-term success in our highlycompetitive, technologically-advanced and ever more socially-interactive business climate. Sustainable Best Practices is intended as a primer for companies who may not yet have implemented sustainability-oriented business practices, but also as a salute to those in public and private industry already implementing sustainable best practices with passion and vision, such as City of Phoenix, APS, Reliance Wire & Cable, Fair Trade Cafe, Recycle City and many others. Sustainable Best Practices is the latest in a series of data-drive reports published by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce under the direction of our Vice President Monica Villalobos. Generally, our research is aimed at building upon and expanding the

availability and volume of the sort of well-researched data needed to make informed decisions about economic development in Arizona, and especially as it impacts Hispanic- and minority-owned businesses and their role in the wider economy. Arizona is now home to an estimated 123,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, a majority of which are owned by Hispanic women. At the same time, our state’s K-12 student population will be majority Hispanic by 2020 and the state’s overall Latino population could cross the majority threshold by 2040. With that in mind, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber believes that in the same way that the state’s demographic trends must be considered as public and private industry leaders develop statewide policy initiatives, the question of “sustainability” and how that fits into private and public practices must also be given careful consideration. In short, caring about our environment is fully compatible and caring about the health and prosperity of our citizenry and our economy, and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is committed to spreading that message far and wide. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank the authors, Mike Slaven, Mick Dalrymple, and Mara DeFilippis for researching and preparing this report, along with our sponsors, Arizona Public Service and the Phoenix MBDA Center, and our community partners for supporting the publication of Sustainable Best Practices and the presentation of the 2015 Business Diversity Summit.

Gonzalo A. de la Melena, Jr. President & CEO Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Sustainability is one of the most important concepts behind current transformations in our economy, and as such, it represents business opportunity. This white paper aims to help businesses and other organizations to understand the sometimes elusive concept of “sustainability,” to provide some perspective on what sustainability could mean for

This white paper identifies five main areas of best practices to help businesses and other organizations realize these opportunities:

them, and to gain insight into best practices in the area. This report draws from subject-matter expertise at Arizona State University’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, and from in-depth interviews with sustainability leaders in 12 organizations of all sizes that are either based or have a strong presence in Arizona.

on how to create a sustainability program that is primed for success, with leadership buy-in, broad support, and integration into a business’s core. Reducing what’s wasted: This section provides advice not only on how organizations can shrink what they waste, but also on how they can tap into newer thinking that re-conceptualizes traditional “waste” as new assets or inputs. Finding and growing the sustainability market: This section provides best practices on how to find and appeal to buyers and consumers increasingly seeking sustainable suppliers and products, looking toward possible revenueexpanding opportunities. Sustainable suppliers and resources: This section offers advice from companies that have successfully built supply lines that have reduced their footprint and improved their own sustainability practices. Innovating and making progress: Adopting a sustainability mind-set means looking for continuous improvement and progress. This section provides advice for how to institutionalize this kind of thinking in your organization.

The exact meaning of sustainability can vary depending on the organization, but the core of the concept is consistent and simple: acting today in ways that leave as much or more opportunity for future generations. Because much of our society’s economic activity has depended on patterns of resource use that cannot continue indefinitely, sustainability has a strong environmental component. Ultimately, however, the concept is about people – building prosperity for businesses and communities upon smart foundations that can last. Thinking about sustainability presents opportunities for businesses to improve their bottom lines in five main ways: • Making the most of resources, thus reducing costs • Finding new markets, thus potentially increasing revenues • Attracting and retaining talent in an increasingly sustainability-conscious workforce • Mitigating risk and improving predictability by avoiding overreliance on problematic resources • Reaping rewards from stronger, economically resilient communities

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

• Leadership and organization-wide commitment: This section provides advice

At the end of the white paper is a section on further resources. A best practices matrix also provides a summary of all the practices presented here.

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Phoenix has a goal of diverting 40 percent of trash from the landfill by the year 2020.

Let’s do our part to achieve that goal!

Reduce Reuse Recycle Reconsider Reimagine a more sustainable Phoenix. To learn more about and enroll in Phoenix’s waste diversion programs, visit phoenix.gov/publicworks or call 602-262-7251.

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT


TABLE OF CONTENTS

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CEO

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE

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CASE STUDY: N E W S U S T A I N A B L E S E C T O R S O F O P P O R T U N I T Y

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

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LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION-WIDE COMMITMENT

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REDUCING WHAT’S WASTED

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CASE STUDY: C L O S I N G R E S O U R C E L O O P S , R E T H I N K I N G P A L L E T S

FINDING AND GROWING THE SUSTAINABILITY MARKET

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CASE STUDY: A D D I N G V A L U E B Y C O N N E C T I N G C U S T O M E R S

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SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIERS AND RESOURCES

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INNOVATING AND MAKING PROGRESS

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CASE STUDY: E N G A G I N G E M P L O Y E E C R E A T I V I T Y I N S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y

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CASE STUDY: O N E O F 2 1 K E Y A P S S U P P L I E R S

32 FURTHER RESOURCES

33 BEST PRACTICES MATRIX

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

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SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE

Sustainability is such an all-encompassing concept that it can sometimes sound like an empty buzzword. Indeed, as one corporate sustainability officer said, a challenge in making progress on sustainability is “the joke that nobody knows what it means.” Because the concept seems to speak to such large global issues, it also may appear that individual companies can’t do anything regarding sustainability that makes a meaningful difference. None of these perceptions, however, are really accurate. While it is a big concept, sustainability will have particular, practical meanings for every organization, and will offer opportunities to every company both to improve their own bottom line and to strengthen the communities they rely on for their success. “I define sustainability as leaving as much or more opportunity for future generations,” says J.D. Hill, co-owner of Recycled City, a sustainable composter in the Valley. Sustainability as a concept is deeply related to the interlinked ability of individuals, companies, and communities to continue to prosper well into the future only by making balanced, far-sighted decisions now. Because economic growth has often depended on patterns of natural resource use which cannot be continued indefinitely, sustainability has a crucial environmental component. “I define According to the sustainability World Wildlife as leaving as Fund,1 our much or more planet’s natuopportunity ral capital is for future being depleted generations.” at a rate that ­— J.D. Hill, Recycled City would require 1.5 earths to replenish it, and if the entire world consumed at the rate of the United States, we would need 3.9 earths to sustain ourselves.

Ultimately, though, sustainability serves people and their quality of life: ensuring that communities have a strong foundation for continued prosperity, and helping businesses to see the opportunities that come with the challenges of changing long-term eco“If we could nomic and social create a longerrealities. As Stephlasting environment anie Vasquez, and longer-lasting owner of Fair communities, our businesses are now Trade Cafe in longer-lasting, and Phoenix, says, they’re larger, and “If we could crethey’re supported.” ate a longer-last­— Stephanie Vasquez, Fair Trade Café ing environment and longer-lasting communities, our businesses are now longerlasting, and they’re larger, and they’re supported.” When human and business systems align with natural systems, nature’s power is leveraged for greater returns all around. It’s easy to see the relationship between sustainability and solid long-term business thinking. Importantly, though, sustainability is an especially important topic for business because of changes that are being felt right now. A changing climate and increasing pressure on limited water resources are just two realities that Arizona businesses currently face. At the same time, markets are changing, as millennials and top talent look for sustainability-conscious employers, while consumers and clients increasingly factor in sustainability to their own purchasing decisions. While the practical meaning of sustainability will vary from organization to organization, the overall business case for sustainability offers five big areas of opportunity.

World Wildlife Fund. (2014). Living Planet Report 2014 – Species and spaces, people and places. wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/ 1

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SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE

Reducing costs: Making the most of resources

Increasing revenues: Finding new markets

Much of sustainability’s momentum is rooted in the reality that many of society’s typical consumption patterns either cannot be continued from a practical standpoint, or have long-term costs that are hidden from a resource’s main users. For a business, being more efficient in dealing with resources therefore has a potentially big impact on both sustainability and the bottom line.

New opportunities emerge with every change. As sustainability becomes a bigger and bigger focus – amid larger shifts in which more and more people are rethinking what needs to change to ensure a healthy environment and society – the marketplace is also changing. As more types of buyers of more types of products and services increasingly factor sustainability into their decisions, major opportunities arise for businesses that can provide what this new marketplace demands.

In every business, “you will find efficiencies and that will lead to some kind of eco-benefit as a natural by-product,” says Lorena Valencia, owner of Reliance Wire & Cable. Using less water or energy, or finding new ways to reuse a particular “You will find product or input, efficiencies and might sometimes that will lead require upfront to some kind investments, of eco-benefit but can significantly reduce as a natural both an orgaby-product.” nization’s foot­— Lorena Valencia, Reliance Wire print and costs. “We’ve seen a lot of these projects pencil out,” says Graham Rossini, vice president for special projects at the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We can be sure there’s a business case for it.” Such investments often involve more predictable returns and less risk than other investment alternatives. Along with reducing what resources are consumed as part of doing business, making the most of resources also entails a new way of thinking about an organization’s waste. Much of the leading-edge work on sustainability has to do with thinking about how what’s traditionally considered waste to be disposed of, can instead be viewed as assets to be capitalized upon, through either traditional recycling or innovative projects. Some examples of this are explored in case studies throughout this paper, but the idea of turning the linear model of “take-make-waste” into a circle of sustainable re-consumption is also explored in the sidebar on the concept of a circular economy.

On one hand, the end users of products and services are increasingly thinking about sustainability in making their purchases. According to Nielsen, 42 percent of North American online consumers are willing to pay more for socially responsible brands, and products that actively marketed their sustainability actions saw a 5 percent year-over-year sales increase as of March 2014, versus only a 1 percent increase for brands that made no sustainability claims.2 Companies can often find prime opportunities operating in a sustainability-conscious marketplace which is both a viable niche and the emerging norm. “I’m meeting a need,” says David Hertzberg, president and CEO of Sonoran Waste Disposal. “The customers are explaining their ethos, and I’m saying, ‘I can meet those needs.’” This aspect of the sustainability marketplace is becoming a reality not just for companies geared toward consumer markets, but also for enterprises operating further up the supply chain. As companies increasingly investigate their footprint and try to adopt sustainable practices, their supply-chain management be“I’m meeting comes part of the a need. The equation. Buyers customers are look not only for explaining their suppliers who ethos, and I’m are resourcesaying, ‘I can conscious in meet those needs.’” their own opera­ David Hertzberg, — tions, but who Sonoran Waste Disposal produce the type of reusable, minimalpackaging, low-consumption products that fit in with those buyers’ own sustainability visions. This means

www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2014/global-consumers-are-willing-to-put-their-money-where-their-heart-is.html

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

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SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE new opportunities for sustainability-conscious suppliers. “We definitely see that as a trend moving along the supply chain,” says Reliance Wire & Cable’s Lorena Valencia. “We want to be proactive and not reactive.” “We continually, as part of our responses to requests for proposals, are expected to demonstrate superiority in terms of sustainability,” says Sue Briggum, vice president for federal public affairs at Waste Management. “It’s a requirement in terms of being able to bid, and it’s a distinguisher in meeting bids. Small and medium-sized businesses ought to be thinking about this, too. There’s an incredibly strong push for supply-chain sustainability programs.”

Personnel: Winning top talent in a changing workforce Developing a sustainability-conscious approach is about the resources a company uses and the products and services it puts into the marketplace – but it’s also about the people who fuel a company’s success. For organizations working to attract and retain top talent, adopting sustainability as a driving business concept is often an important tool. “Employees want to work for a company that cares about social issues and environmental issues,” says Todd Brady, global environmental director for Intel Corporation. A large part of this is driven by a generational shift. “Millennials come into the job expecting that they’ll find their company has a meaningful sustainability program,” says “Millennials Ann Becker, vice come into the president of envijob expecting that ronmental and they’ll find their chief sustaincompany has a ability officer meaningful for APS. Younger sustainability workers have program.” often grown up — ­ Ann Becker, APS with a heightened concept of the importance of sustainability issues and a more intuitive sense of what sustainability means. This gives companies with strong sustainability profiles a competitive edge in attracting top talent, and also the chance to capitalize on the sustainability-consciousness of employees in improving the business, as will be discussed later on.

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Risk and strategy: Resilience amid major changes It’s inherent in the term “sustainability” that one of the reasons businesses increasingly are thinking along such lines is because many current practices cannot be “sustained” – in other words, in the future, one way or the other, some practices will need to change. As access to a whole range of resources is liable to become increasingly strained in the future, sus“It’s good tainability – inbusiness practice, cluding beginning to look to the future to use resources and say, where could in a smarter I potentially be constrained? Where way sooner, are my pinch points? rather than latAnd what can I do er – becomes a now to position key part of buildmyself for that?” ing an organiza­— Todd Brady, Intel tion’s strategy for market leadership and long-term resilience. As Intel’s Todd Brady puts it, “It’s good business practice, to look to the future and say, where could I potentially be constrained? Where are my pinch points? And what can I do now to position myself for that?” Reducing reliance on resources that may become more constrained, and finding ways to reuse inputs or repurpose byproducts, represent opportunities to increase a business’s resiliency and increase its strength in the long term. The resiliency benefits offered by a strong sustainability approach are becoming more important as businesses in Arizona face the realities of a changing climate and, as one result, a more limited water supply. Sustainability thinking offers ways both to mitigate and manage these changes.

Stakeholders: Reaping rewards from stronger communities On a large scale, sustainability means communities whose prosperity is built on solid foundations and practices that can be counted on to work well into the future. Ultimately, communities form the foundations upon which businesses can succeed: From communities come a business’s customers, employees, and suppliers. So, while it can seem that sustainability is all about global issues, nearly every organization can take actions on sustainability which will make a meaningful difference in the communities they call home.

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE “From a business standpoint and community standpoint, sustainability really means that you have a healthy community,” says Tommy Espinoza, “From a president and business CEO of the Raza standpoint and Development community Fund. A key standpoint, part of this sustainability equation is really means that that jobs and you have a healthy prosperity are based on relicommunity.” ­— Tommy Espinoza, able models that RDF can be continued into the future, without requiring the overuse of limited resources. Sustainable practices are, then, a form of reinvestment in the community. “Before when we talked about being green and being sustainable, it was always because it was good for the e n v i r o n ment,” says Ginger Spencer, assistant public works director for the City of Phoenix. “But now it’s that sustainability is creating jobs and creating jobs locally, and improving the overall environment, community, and quality of life.” These “Sustainability is environmental and creating jobs and quality-of-life faccreating jobs locally, tors feed back and improving the into economic overall environment, strength, creating a virtuous community, and cycle. quality of life.” ­ Ginger Spencer, — City of Phoenix

The bottom line: The sustainability concept presents opportunities to improve a business’s financial bottom line when it comes to reducing costs, increasing revenues, recruiting and retaining personnel, limiting risk, and en- gaging with the stakeholders and the community. In Arizona in particular, the economy is at an inflection point where sustainability-oriented businesses are looking at increasing opportunity. “This is like virgin soil,” says Fair Trade Cafe’s Stephanie Vasquez. “Arizona right now is at this huge point of growth and movement and opportunity.”

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

“TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE” The “triple bottom line” is a concept used in many companies’ sustainability programs. It proposes that in order to account for the broader costs, benefits, and impacts involved in doing business, organizations should look to three separate bottom lines: the traditional “bottom line” of corporate profit or loss, a “social” bottom line reflecting how equitable and beneficial a company has been toward people and communities, and an “environmental” bottom line to reflect the company’s environmental impact. These three bottom lines represent the three pillars of sustainability, or the “three Ps:” people, planet, and profit.

“CIRCULAR ECONOMY” The “circular economy” idea is one of the most leading-edge in sustainability thinking, and stands in contrast to the traditional “linear” model of “take-make-waste.” It instead looks to reimagine by-products as new raw material for a next useful life, whether as recycled material or energy. “Circular economy” thinking means re-designing products so they consume less, waste less, and are able to be disassembled at the end of their useful life. It also means products that are reusable and adaptable, as well as reusing and recycling what might otherwise be seen as waste. The big opportunity here is in “closing resource loops” – bending the “disposal” end of the traditional model back into the production cycle, making new useful inputs instead of waste, and minimizing what is ultimately discarded. As Carlos Rojas, senior counsel at Sprouts Farmers Market, says, “It’s waste that’s no longer going to landfills, but actually has a use.”

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SUSTAINABILITY: THE BUSINESS CASE

CASE STUDY

N E W S US TA I N A B L E SECTORS OF OPPORTUNITY To see the full economic potential of sustainability – the extent to which the concept presents not just opportunities for efficiencies or savings, but even beyond that, novel economic sectors and fertile ground for start-ups – we have to look no further than our own backyard.

ple only saw trash. As part of its “Reimagine Phoenix” initiative, which sets newly ambitious waste-diversion goals, the city is seeking to set itself apart as a strong partner for innovative companies focused on repurposing what has usually been viewed as waste.

Embracing emerging “circular economy” concepts, the City of Phoenix is seeing economic development opportunity where in the past peo-

Planning for the establishment of a business incubator at a new Resource Innovation Campus, Phoenix issued a “Call for Innovators” that received national and international responses. “In the past, recyclables would be sold overseas. What we’re looking to do is to work with companies to bring them here to Phoenix and create jobs right here, where they are taking the trash and repurposing it,” says Ginger Spencer, assistant public works director for the City of Phoenix.

“By creating a circular economy, prosperity stays within the community, and items are repurposed.” ­— Ginger Spencer, City of Phoenix

12

One hundred and eighteen companies ultimately responded to the call to bring innovative economic approaches to Phoenix’s million tons of waste per year. Following this interest, the city will be issuing 10 requests for proposals. Companies will be selected that can then set up shop at the Resource Innovation Campus. “These companies are looking at palm frond diversion, plastic diversion, a mixed materials exchange program, paper diversion, glass diversion, plastic to liquid fuel, even an anaerobic digester and a possible waste-to-energy program,” Spencer says. “By creating a circular economy, prosperity stays within the community, and items are repurposed.”

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


TITLE SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES Sustainability

is

presenting

every

organization

with

in Arizona? This section offers some best practices for

opportunities that are relevant to all aspects of a business’s

this potentially revenue-expanding side of sustainability.

bottom line. But how do you capitalize on this potential and make an impact? The precise meaning of sustainability will vary – sometimes quite a lot – from organization to organization. However, drawing from conversations with owners, executives, and sustainability officers at leading entities of all sizes, it is easy to identify a number of best practices that can benefit all types of organizations in five different areas.

4. Sustainable suppliers and resources: An organization’s overall footprint, and the strength of its sustainability brand, rely not just on its own operation and products, but upon the rest of its supply chain. How do you find the sustainability-conscious inputs that you want – at competitive cost? This section provides some advice. 5. Innovating and making progress: Sustainability is a process and a mindset. Each organization

1. Leadership and organization-wide com-

will have different opportunities in sustainability. How

mitment: Sustainability programs only become

do you build in ways to detect these, thus laying the

successful if they have buy-in from leadership as

groundwork for continued sustainability success? This

well as all other levels of the organization, and are

section offers some pointers.

integrated into core aspects of the business’s vision and practices. We present some best practices for building

Before this, though, there is one major piece of advice

that commitment.

that relates to all of these areas: understand your

2. Reducing what’s wasted: Everyone knows the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Following this axiom often increases efficiency and reduces cost, in addition to leaving less of a footprint. There is also increasingly innovative work being done in closing resource loops between by-products and new inputs. This section offers practices on how to pursue both this classic adage and this new thinking.

footprint. Without knowing the big areas in which your organization creates environmental, social, and economic impacts, as well as knowing your overall vision, it will be hard to realize any sustainability opportunities. “You need to understand your impact. Where are both your threats and opportunities?” says Intel’s Todd Brady. “You have to think realistically about what your impacts actually are in order to do things that are genuine,” says Sue Briggum of Waste Management. Sustainability is a process, and

3. Finding and growing the sustainability

often good ideas or deeper understanding will come later

market: The evidence says that there is expanding

down the chain, but this kind of basic knowledge is key to

market share up for grabs to sustainability-conscious

all types of success in sustainability. From this knowledge,

companies. But how do you find and foster this market

progress becomes possible.

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

LEADERSHIP AND O RGA N IZ ATI O N -W I D E COM M ITM E NT

1

Ensuring sustainability is embraced and incorporated at all levels

business case over time. Then, as Brady points out, “you’ll start

of an organization is key to the success of a sustainability pro-

getting a pull for working on those areas, as opposed to having

gram. Sustainability leaders offer a number of consistent pieces

to push your sustainability programs.”

of advice on how to achieve this.

Be visible to employees

Make the most directly relevant business case

Sustainability success depends on fostering an organization-wide mind-set, so it is important for a sustainability program to be vis-

Achieving buy-in from all levels of the organization – and per-

ible to employees. This can be achieved partially through other

haps, most especially, from leadership – depends on making

core sustainability processes – such as setting goals (which is dis-

the most direct and relevant argument for why sustainability is

cussed more extensively later on) – or by identifying clearly to em-

important to a company’s vision, business, and operations. Sus-

ployees which business goals have a sustainability component.

tainability programs that focus on integration of the triple bottom line into these leverage the momentum of the organization, but programs that touch only on side-issues

It is also worth considering if there are highly visible initiatives, such as an employee recycling program or a lighting retrofit, which can be undertaken as a way of getting people throughout

are more likely to twist in the wind.

the organization thinking about sustainability in their daily activi-

“If you try to work sustain-

ties. While the impact of these types of initiatives could be either

ability in a silo, indepen-

significant or modest, depending, they can be worthwhile for

dent from your core

engagement and visibility purposes.

“If you try to work sustainability in a silo, independent from your core business, it’s going to fail. You need to align those practices with your core business, whatever it is.”

business, it’s going to fail,” says Intel’s Todd

Brady.

“You need to align

those

practices

with

your core business,

— Todd Brady, Intel

whatever

it is.” Working from your

knowledge

Visibility is a crucial way by which employees become more educated about sustainability, its place in your organization, and how they can participate, so bringing the concept to their attention is a major component of success.

Show progress Sustainability is a process, and an important part of building

of

longer-term support and excitement for sustainability is to show

your company’s foot-

to people across an organization that real achievements are at-

print, where are the most rel-

tainable.

evant issues – are they in water or energy usage? Waste? The supply chain? Use this knowledge to choose projects and to make the strongest

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The effort to demonstrate progress could have some different aspects. For one, point out and celebrate sustainability successes in your organization, whether or not in the past they have been

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

understood through that lens. A program tracking and reducing water consumption, for instance, is also a sustainability effort to be highlighted and acknowledged. This could help

both

to clarify the concept to employees

people speaking the same language and working toward the

taking significant sustain-

same ends.

ability steps is an goal.

ibility to what you’re already doing,”

says

APS’s Ann Becker. “This can be eye-opening

ing continued commitment to any initiative is setting goals. This give some definition to a perhaps vague concept. Goals can get

with it, and to show that

“Give some vis-

Organizationally, one of the most important elements of ensuris no less true for sustainability, where setting goals can help to

who may not be as familiar

attainable

Set, track, and review goals

“Give some visibility to what you’re already doing. This can be eye-opening to some people.”

to

­— Ann Becker, APS

some people.” Issuing a regular sustainability report can also

“Set clear and measurable goals that can be tracked against, and can be very visible,” says Todd Brady of Intel. “If you set those goals, and you get senior management buy-in on those goals, and you regularly measure progress against those goals, you’re going to have a lot more success.” The process of setting goals should be continual, and reviewing them should include not just internal representatives but also significant stakeholders. The ongoing process of reviewing goals does not just serve to keep progress on them moving forward, but to encourage ongoing engagement with sustainability efforts.

help people throughout the organization see what progress has been made and to focus employees on

Create a green team

further goals.

In larger organizations especially, you are likely to find people throughout different departments or

On another hand, especially early on in a sustainability program,

units who have come into the job

it can be important to set goals and initiate programs that are

with an understanding and

tangible and can be accomplished relatively quickly. Indeed,

passion for these issues.

this is a component of strategic goal-setting – employing early

These people are

victories and successes to show progress, excite people, and lay strong foundations for further efforts. Don’t be shy about going for “low-hanging fruit” at the beginning: “Understand what the lowhanging fruit is in your business. What can you tackle first that will have the most impact?” says Carlos Rojas of Sprouts Farmers Market. “Once you tackle that and show results to the company, then you can get buy-in to continue down the road on other initiatives.” Making a strong start serves as important groundwork for a longer-term impact.

“You’re looking for employees who are passionate about sustainability and being green, that would help create a program for your company and encourage others and motivate them to embrace sustainability.” — Ginger Spencer, City of Phoenix

potential “sustainability

champi-

ons.” Look to, empower, and reward

these

champions. Get them together as a “green team”

that

can

While doing so, remember the adage about first impressions. It is

translate sustainability

important that early successes are meaningful: Window dressing

throughout the organi-

can set the tone that marketing is more important than impact.

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

zation, motivate colleagues,

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

understand in detail what sustainability can mean to

“Several years ago, we began to embed sustainability goals

different aspects of the company, and

into our bonus structure, so that everybody’s pay is tied in

come up with ideas.

one way or other to how we are performing,” says Todd Brady of Intel. Even without tying performance-based com-

These kinds of working

pensation to new sustainability-based measures, working

groups can be a “really rich resource,” APS’s Ann Becker says.

“You’re

looking for employees

who

are passionate about

sustain-

ability and being

green,

would

help

to identify relevant existing performance metrics as sustain-

“Several years ago, we began to embed sustainability goals into our bonus structure, so that everybody’s pay is tied in one way or other to how we are performing.” ­— Todd Brady, Intel

ability metrics can be an important way to introduce employees to the idea that there are incentives for making progress.

Institutionalize executive attention Buy-in from leadership is a frequently cited prerequisite for sustainability success – which is why mak-

that

ing the strongest business case

create

for each organization is

a program for your

particularly important. As

company and encourage

APS’s Ann Becker

others and motivate them to embrace sustainability,” says Ginger Spencer, from the City of Phoenix. “They will figure out what can work and what won’t. And when it comes from the employees, they’ll embrace it more.” Involving a green team in the formal goal-setting process with higher-level executives can create additional motivation for engagement and for strong sustainability performance.

says, “Sustainability is not going to

“Find your senior champion in the company who can help you prioritize what you will do and will care.”

go

anywhere

unless

you

have executive support for it.” Gaining leader-

­ Sue Briggum, — Waste Management

ship’s

support

is not a matter of making a one-time pre-

Incentivize employees It is important for employees to understand that their achievements in sustainability will be valued in a tangible way. Doing so can take a number of different forms.

sentation, but rather, means

engaging

continu-

ally and making sure they are involved.

On a less expansive scale, employee recognition programs can

Involving the C-suite in the process of goal-setting, perhaps by

serve to reward team members who are leading on sustainabil-

initiating an executive sustainability committee or board-level

ity or performing particularly well on sustainability goals. At the

sustainability committee, is one important way to ensure contin-

point that goals can be well defined, measured, and tracked

ued involvement. Fostering a sustainability mind-set among all

– and when the bottom-line benefits of sustainability have been

employees is important, but “make sure to get in front of the ex-

embraced by management – then it is possible for sustainability-

ecutive team as well,” APS’s Ann Becker says. “Find your senior

conscious companies to include sustainability goals among mea-

champion in the company who can help you prioritize what you

sures of employee performance.

will do and will care,” says Sue Briggum of Waste Management.

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

2

R E D U C I N G W H AT’S WA S T E D

Taking action to reduce what’s wasted has a direct impact on

go and spend some money on low-flow toilets? Can you use

shrinking an organization’s resource footprint, and presents a

LED lights instead of incandescent?” asks David Hertzberg of

clear route to reducing costs, mitigating risk, and even possibly

Sonoran Waste Disposal. Any higher upfront costs of such items

creating new assets through re-thinking whether by-products have

are usually more than covered in the consumption savings offered

a further useful life – either within the organization, or as an input

over the life of the product. More efficient equipment can improve

to another one.

the product for the customer, as well. In improving the insulation

While every business is different, just about every business will be able to find ways to lessen what ultimately ends up wasted. The first step in this is to “reduce” – to become more efficient in what is used in the first place. Your organization may also be able to substitute a material or service input with a different one

of refrigeration units in grocery stores, for example, “not only are we reducing energy usage and leakage of harmful materials, but we’re also keeping our product fresher and extending its shelf life when people take it home,” says Carlos Rojas of Sprouts Farmers Market.

that has lower associated environmental or social costs. Second,

Companies that use substantial amounts of water or energy –

making decisions that allow inputs to be reused can mean even

whether electricity to power machinery, or gasoline to power

greater efficiency and a smaller footprint. Third, recycling is a

vehicles – can, of course, see even greater potential cost sav-

significant aspect of diverting waste from the landfill. But finding

ings by investing in more efficient products. This strategy involves

ways that by-products can be repurposed as new inputs even fur-

analyzing life-cycle costs instead of simply upfront capital costs.

ther reduces a company’s reliance on new materials, essentially

Sometimes cash flow constraints or budgetary walls between

transforming a liability into a new asset. A common example is

capital budgets and operating budgets might present investment

co-generation, where waste heat from an electricity generator is

challenges. However, a plethora of financing mechanisms have

recovered and used to heat water or air for a facility.

been developed to overcome such constraints (See “Energy Ef-

Here are some best practices for following the well-known maxim

ficient Financing” in the section on “Further Resources”).

of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” as well as pursuing newer thinking about “closing resource loops” by rethinking by-products as inputs.

Invest in appliances, facilities, and equipment that have low resource demands The “reduce” component in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto comes first for a reason: The most basic step in reducing what’s

Buy what’s reusable or adaptable Reducing what ends up as waste at the end of a production process also means making smart decisions at the beginning of that process: buying inputs that will last and can be reused or adapted to future purposes. Instead of needing to buy a new product to meet every individual need, is it possible that there’s a product that can meet a broad range of anticipated needs?

wasted is to reduce what’s consumed. This is also a step that

This question has applications across all sectors: it could apply

nearly every business can take, and one which will always result

equally to restaurant tableware, IT, motor vehicle fleets, office

in a positive sustainability impact as well as savings.

furniture, or many other types of material. The common theme,

“These are some small things that can make a big sustainability impact. Every business has to have a bathroom – can you

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though, is working to extend the useable life of every product, to reduce both what has to be purchased and the pace at which materials are discarded. For instance, “One thing you can do is

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

expand the life of replacement plans,” explained Ginger Spencer

need to be – thus requiring more money and energy to heat,

of the City of Phoenix, speaking about machinery in the Pub-

cool, light, and power? Or, if it seems a company needs more

lic Works Department. “Instead of having a 7-year replacement

space, is it actually possible to think innovatively to make more

plan, we’ve said, ‘Let’s stretch it to 10 years and see how it

efficient use of existing space through different design or con-

works, and if it creates maintenance costs.’” The city has found

figurations? Could space, equipment, and energy be saved by

that this move has resulted in significant savings and reduction in

outsourcing computer servers to the cloud? Is product packaging

resource use. A similar example is a transportation service com-

larger or heavier than necessary, thus increasing the money and

pany that rebuilds the batteries of its hybrid auto fleet, doubling

energy needed to ship products to customers? Can employee

and tripling the economically productive lifespan of the already-

vehicle miles be reduced by more rigorous planning or expanded

efficient alternative fuel vehicles.

telecommuting?

“The key is diverting as much as pos-

If continually revisited as an organization’s circumstances evolve,

sible from the landfill and reusing

this kind of thinking can result in avoiding unnecessary consump-

and repurposing as much

tion – a major part of the imperative to “reduce.”

as possible,” says Mary Wolf-Francis of DIRTT, a

company

that

manufactures and installs adaptable modular interior walls.

While

recycling

is

important, WolfFrancis says, in assessing sustainability

the im-

“The key is diverting as much as possible from the landfill and reusing and repurposing as much as possible.” ­— Mary Wolf-Francis, DIRTT

pact of a purchasing decision, “reduce and reuse are the first things that you should talk about.” Much of the time, of course, these efficiencies translate into reduced costs.

Think sustainability when building and renovating For many organizations, how their buildings or physical plant are designed will have the single greatest impact on patterns of water consumption and energy use, as well as the productivity of employees. When it comes to designing and constructing buildings, significant advancements in green building techniques and knowledge make achieving sustainability goals easier, and LEED® and Living Building ChallengeTM certification are important third-party resources. Focusing first on passive design solutions minimizes maintenance costs as well as operating costs. For example, at Sprouts Farmers Market, “we’re installing skylight installations that allow us to harvest natural light more effectively, instead of using artificial lighting,” says Carlos Rojas. Even “netzero” energy buildings are now reaching the market. Effective design in making spaces adaptable can also forestall the need

for future construction, possibly resulting in significant cost savings

Minimize what you need to do the job

and waste reduction.

Greater efficiencies are possible over time in nearly every project. In reducing what an organization uses, it is important to ask continually whether current practices are actually using more resources than what’s needed to do the job.

Considering these types of factors in construction can be very important to the end-users of the building and to the sustainability of the larger community. As Roger Schwierjohn, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, explained, “We realized that, to keep our homes affordable throughout the life of

It is obvious to ask this about some inputs which are very directly

the home, we would need to develop homes that were efficient.”

involved in the making of a product. However, this question is

However, even when organizations are not dealing with new

important to ask about areas that might not seem as readily ap-

construction, sustainability thinking can make an ecological,

parent. For instance, are the company’s offices bigger than they

cultural, and bottom-line impact. The sustainability of existing

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

buildings can be improved as time goes on, and addressing

design. Are the products a company is putting on the market the

efficiencies while conducting necessary improvements is a step

kind of low-resource-using, adaptable, and highly reusable and

that makes lots of business sense. “You’re not going to rip up

recyclable products that a sustainability-focused company would

projects because they’re not the best – but when things are due

want to buy? Do they improve customers’ efficiency and effective-

for renovation or turnover, it makes the most business sense to

ness? If not, then a company’s overall footprint will remain more

do it,” says the Diamondbacks’ Graham Rossini. This kind of

substantial than it would be otherwise, despite how efficient it is

“rolling approach,” where facilities are continuously improved in

in its own operations.

line with their life cycle, allows people throughout the organization to see progress on sustainability while introducing new efficiencies. Arizona’s major electric utilities also provide incentives for efficiency improvements, further benefitting the business case.

Purchase recycled and recyclable goods In addition to reducing what’s being used and reusing materials to the greatest extent practical, organizations can work to divert

Second, organizational footprints include the types of consumption patterns that their workers need to engage in in order to get to, and do, work. Is the company located in a place where employees can easily take public transportation to work? Does it offer flexible work arrangements that could reduce the amount of unnecessary travel? These are the sorts of questions organizations begin to ask when viewing their footprint, and their possible community benefit, holistically.

as much of their waste as possible from the landfill by recycling.

Third, what are the practices and environmental and social foot-

An obviously important prerequisite for this is to purchase goods

prints of a company’s suppliers and business partners? Where

that are made from recyclable materials, since doing so directly

are those suppliers located? Is their pricing artificially lowered

affects what can be diverted to recycling later. For some larger

through social and environmental trade-offs?

companies especially, recycling programs can essentially pay for themselves. For nearly every company, recycling is a relatively straightforward step to take.

One accepted formal way to think about a company’s footprint is through the lens of Scope 1, 2 and 3 activities (see Figure 1.1). Scope 1 involves activities under a company’s direct con-

Beyond the importance of purchasing recyclable goods that an

trol, such as the efficiency of the vehicles the company buys for

organization can divert from the landfill, it’s equally important

its fleet. Scope 2 activities are ones over which the company has

to purchase goods made of already recycled materials, since

indirect control, such as the emissions generated by the utility from

this helps to strengthen the market for such products. Companies

which the company chooses to buy its electricity. The company

can work to identify areas where products made from recycled

can reduce its Scope 2 impacts by buying renewable energy

materials – which are sometimes cheaper than alternatives – can

on the open market or generating its own renewable energy.

do the job up to expected standards. “In a lot of applications,

Commuting miles of employees would be considered a Scope

it’s possible to use a higher percentage of recycled materials,”

3 activity, as a company has less control over where its employ-

says Lorena Valencia of Reliance Wire & Cable. “Companies

ees live. Re-designing a company’s product to be more efficient

can look into that so that they can save on cost and be more

can, in turn, reduce its customers’ Scope 1, 2 or 3 footprint. It

sustainability-focused.”

can get somewhat technical, but it is a nice framework for measuring footprints and tracking progress on sustainability goals.

Consider your footprint outside your own doors Organizations’ footprints extend well beyond their own doors, and companies should think about their sustainability impact in this broad way. Three types of opportunities are highlighted here. First, a company’s footprint also extends to its product or service

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Close resource loops – find waste’s next useable life Beyond all of these measures, new concepts are emerging that envision replacing the linear “take-make-waste” model of production (even with as much waste as possible diverted to recycling) with a new “circular economy” model. Here, the repurposing of

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

Figure [1.1] Scope Activities

by-products to their next useable life bends the end of that linear

uses as fertilizer to grow vegetables that are sold back to the

model back into the production cycle, reducing the need to con-

restaurant as ingredients in its dishes. A company could capture

sume entirely new inputs in order to be economically productive.

waste heat resulting from its manufacturing processes in order to

Closing resource loops is an area of a lot of new thinking, and the concept can be manifested in many different forms. Sprouts

provide its building with hot water. While quite different in their own ways, the concepts behind these steps are similar: They

Farmers Market, for example, enacted a program that diverts

eliminate the need to use new resources to provide the same ben-

safe, edible food that is no longer saleable to community food

efit, and they allow a business to use what previously would have

banks, helping to feed hungry members of the community while

been waste as an asset. For one example of a small business

diverting 10 percent of the company’s total waste stream. A res-

engaging in this kind of innovative thinking, see the case study,

taurant might compost its food waste, which a local farmer then

“Closing Resource Loops, Rethinking Pallets.”

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CASE STUDY

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

CLOSING RESOURCELOOPS, RETHINKING PA L L E T S Reliance Wire & Cable is a small business enterprise that supplies automotive wiring and tubing. Like many other businesses, it constantly received new materials in cardboard bulk boxes, while it had long shipped out products on industry-standard wooden pallets. As Lorena Valencia, the owner, explained, this presented a waste issue, though one that may have been hidden from view beneath a common industry practice. While some customers could reuse as many good-condition pallets as arrived at their doors, others could not, which created issues: pallets take up space or have to be disposed of. Further, something was being wasted in the process of Reliance moving its products to market. “We found that the pallets were heavy and over-engineered for what we were moving,” Valencia explained. Reliance Wire & Cable’s customer shipments were far lighter than standard pallets are designed to carry. The heavy pallet, of course, increased the energy – and cost – required for moving these products. Engineers at Reliance Wire & Cable came up with an idea, which they were empowered to pursue: By working with a local packaging company, Reliance now ships out orders on light cardboard pallets made from recyclable material that it receives as packaging from its own purchases. By re-thinking waste, the company reduced its footprint, cut costs, and improved the experience of its customers. As an additional valuable bonus, Reliance reduced product losses caused by damage from nails used in

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

the pallets. “Looking at it from a holistic standpoint, that was a big win for us,” Valencia said. “Number one, we are reusing. Number two, we no longer have to buy wooden pallets. Number three, when my customers receive their product, they didn’t have to worry about the wooden pallet.” They can either reuse the cardboard pallet or, since it is made from recyclable cardboard, recycle it.

“Looking at it from a holistic standpoint, that was a big win for us.” ­ Lorena Valencia, — Reliance Wire & Cable

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

3

FINDING AND GROWING TH E SUSTA I N A B I LIT Y M A RK E T

Sustainability thinking doesn’t just present opportunities to reduce a business’s costs and waste, but is also about the potential to tap into a sustainability-conscious marketplace. While companies and consumers are increasingly factoring sustainability into their own buying, in places like Arizona, this market may not be as apparent as in other parts of the country. Some of the most relevant advice offered by businesses working in this space concerns how to find this market and support its growth.

Test the market in low-risk ways Notwithstanding sustainability’s efficiency benefits, branding a business as sustainability-focused might seem like a risk, or it could appear at first that sustainability isn’t important to a business’s customer base. However, for many businesses, there are low-risk ways to test the market and see what kind of response an enterprise gets for offering sustainability-conscious products. One way to do this might be to offer one version of a product that is, for instance, sourced according to more sustainable practices and is marketed as such. This lets a business see how customers will respond. If unsure about the market for sustainability-conscious goods, “start small with a particular product,” says Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Cafe. For instance, in a food-service context, Vasquez offers, “combo one or combo two can be 100 percent locally sourced and organic. The proof is in the pudding – you need to see if it’s going to be supported and well received. And nine times out of 10, it will be.” As sustainability-conscious purchasing continues to emerge as a broad economic trend, testing the market gives companies ways to ensure they are not left behind, and takes advantage of opportunities to capitalize on these changes. The lesson is to not be afraid of starting relatively small – this can still make a sustainability impact and help position a business for the future.

Show customers what you’re doing Businesses that act in sustainability-conscious ways should wear it proudly and let customers know. While a deci-

22

sion to embrace sustainability to a greater extent may very well be driven by bottom-line considerations, if what a business is doing makes a difference, this will nonetheless be attractive to customers looking to reduce their own footprint. In this sense, sustainability represents an investment toward a potential expansion of revenue or simply an increase in margin, but realizing that return depends on broadcasting the sustainable practice. As David Hertzberg of Sonoran Waste Disposal puts it, for many businesses, a relevant question is: “Are you going to celebrate it and try to get the ROI from it?”

Consider – and market – end-user benefits As some previously mentioned best practices have touched upon, much of sustainability lies in product design. A business’s own production processes are one critical component of reducing its footprint, but equally important is the design of a business’s products themselves: Are they low-consumption and reusable? This is a critical aspect of success in the sustainability-conscious marketplace, since procurement personnel will be looking for products that fit into their company’s own sustainability visions for their businesses and production processes. Further along the supply chain, these inputs may provide even more end-user benefits that are not as apparent to suppliers in the middle. Making these benefits apparent might mean selling end users on the benefits of the more sustainable product – or appealing to higher-tier suppliers on the basis of an improved end-user experience. This can help those customers become advocates for a sustainable product, and to connect on sustainability priorities throughout the supply chain.

Identify the entire range of benefits While the benefits of sustainability are multi-level and interrelated, people’s reasons for pursuing sustainability differ. Some buyers that are oriented toward sustainability will have a sharper, immediate understanding of what a sustainability-conscious product means, but to others, directly appealing to different

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

kinds of benefits – including social as well as environmental or financial benefits – helps to expand the product’s marketability. Organizations should identify the kind of impact they have on each of the “three Ps” – people, profit, and planet. Most businesses have an obvious an interest in the “profit” component, but identifying the others can help to expand the market of potentially interested buyers. Some buyers will be interested in the environmental impact, while with some buyers, “you talk about jobs,” says David Hertzberg of Sonoran Waste Disposal. The “people” aspect of sustainability – and the community impact of local job creation – can be just as important a benefit as the “planet” aspect. In marketing sustainability, identify the entire range of benefits, and, as Hertzberg says, “know who you’re talking to.”

Educate: Expand markets by fostering a mind-set Many of the companies working most intently in the sustainability field view educating consumers about the concept as one of the most important things they do. This can be done in ways that are subtle, nonintrusive, and even add to the customer experience: For instance, having customers participate in waste diversion by providing separate containers for recyclables and compost (and clarifying general waste containers as being “landfill”), including information on how products can be re-used, or install“The most ing solar panels important thing that are visible is to foster people to customers. making better

lifestyle decisions. And that will really drive innovation.”

The business activity of supplying sustainable ­— J.D. Hill, products or serRecycled City vices to customers allows the opportunity “to then educate them at the same time why this is something that’s so important to be doing,” says J.D. Hill, coowner of Recycled City. For businesses with large customer bases and high visibility, the impact of even subtle consumer education is potentially very large. “The business case is a plus mark for sustainability, but the impact upon community stewardship, through our strong reach among different demographics,

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

is even more important,” says the Diamondbacks’ Graham Rossini. The result of greater education among customers will be beneficial, in that it will foster more consciousness about sustainability in general. However, a crucial side-effect of this type of education is that it helps to nurture and grow the marketplace for sustainable products and services. As Recycled City’s J.D. Hill says, “The most important thing is to foster people making better lifestyle decisions. And that will really drive innovation.”

Keep good data on your impact For buyers looking for sustainability consciousness throughout the supply chain, what’s crucial is accurate information. Having quantified or precise information about sustainability practices and results can be a selling point on its own. Customers look for supply partners with a clear sustainability commitment and a verifiable impact. Keeping data is as much about business partners’ sustainability goals as it is about an organization’s own goals. The information part of the equation has been a critical aspect of appealing to customers for the Valley-based company Sonoran Waste Disposal. In pursuing the sustainability-conscious marketplace, “it became about the data,” president and CEO David Hertzberg says. “It’s the data collection, in order provide the customer the tool they need to meet their own sustainability goals.” Third-party verification can also build customer confidence, not only in a company’s data, but also in its commitment to sustainability. Asking customers about the importance of certification to them and what price increase, if any, they would be willing to pay for it, can help in cost-benefit decisions.

Boost your partners Succeeding in sustainability becomes much easier if a business builds and uses networks. As discussed later, these networks can spread innovative ideas and form durable sustainable supply lines. But these businesses can also be each other’s boosters – helping to connect customers and clients with other sustainable businesses and thus helping each other to expand market reach. Operating as a hub for a wider universe of sustainable businesses and consumers also provides additional added value to clients. If working with a business will help to connect them to a larger universe of sustainability-oriented buyers, that expands revenue potential. Businesses can both look for partners that will do this and think about what added value they can provide themselves. This is discussed further in the case study, “Adding Value by Connecting Customers.”

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

CASE STUDY

A D D I N G VA L U E BY CO N N EC TI N G CUSTOMERS Recycled City is a Valley composting firm that makes a significant community impact through an innovative circular-economy model. The 10 tons of organic waste they collect from residential and commercial clients every week is composted and put into the soil on the Orchard Community Learning Center in South Phoenix, a community school and working farm. That compost supports local community agriculture, and the farm then sells what it grows – herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables – either back to the community, or directly back to Recycled City’s original compost customers.

“We’re really about helping people be change makers.” ­ J.D. Hill, — Recycled City

24

Disposal rates charged by many municipalities in Arizona can make composting less attractive from a bottom-line perspective than in other parts of the United States. Recycled City, though, is able to succeed in part by adding value for commercial customers through marketing connections to each other, to Recycled City’s residential customers, and to the larger universe of sustainability-conscious buyers and consumers. “We hit on five or six different things over the course of every month for the businesses that sign up for our service,” Recycled City’s J.D. Hill explains. “We make at least one social media post a month about that business and their sustainable practice. We also put their logo on every single page of our website. If businesses give us marketing material, we’ll pass it out on our residential route, or we will pass out a coupon at a farmer’s market, for instance,” Hill explains. Recycled City’s weekly reminder emails to residential customers will feature sustainable businesses that contract with them, and the company also produces a local food guide. Through adding this value, Recycled City ensures that composting with them qualifies as “also a marketing budget expense,” Hill says. There are small composting companies in other markets where the sustainable marketplace is more developed, but Recycled City has grown especially fast in comparison. “That’s mostly due to our marketing strategy and how we get the word out about our businesses,” says Hill. Serving as a hub for sustainable businesses and consumers of all kinds aids both business growth and Recycled City’s larger sustainability mission. “We’re really about helping people be change-makers,” Hill says. “It’s something we think about all the time.” SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

4

SUSTA I N A BLE SU PPLI E RS AND RESOURCES

An organization’s overall footprint extends well beyond its own

73 percent of spending stays within the local economy when

doors: Making an impact on sustainability – and capitalizing upon

buying locally, as opposed to only 43 percent otherwise.3

the opportunities that sustainability presents – means looking at sustainability throughout the supply chain. The major reason for this is ucts and services can help them meet their own sustainability goals.

Look to women- and minority-owned business enterprises

Finding suppliers and resources that fit the bill, however, can

The “people”-focused nature of sustainability is just as important as

relatively straightforward: Businesses need suppliers whose prod-

be a challenge – especially to organizations newly engaging in sustainability thinking, and especially in markets like Arizona, where the universe of sustainability-conscious businesses is not yet as developed as in other places. Organizations with a record of strong performance in the field of sustainability, however, identify some key practices to make progress in this area.

its “planet”-focused element, and a fundamental goal of sustainability thinking is to forge strong, broad foundations for economic prosperity. As Tommy Espinoza of the Raza Development Fund says, “Sustainability is about jobs.” To this extent, tapping into and expanding opportunity to all sectors of a community is part of a company’s potential sustainability contribution and benefit. Ensuring that women and minority-owned business enterprises

Buy locally

are incorporated into a company’s business is a vehicle for this. But just as with promoting diversity within your workforce, diver-

This is, of course, a familiar refrain from a community eco-

sity among suppliers also provides additional insights into mar-

nomic-development perspective, but it has an equally im-

kets and the community, infusing an organization with a range

portant sustainability impact. On whole, buying items that

of ideas and information inputs. The more an organization re-

are produced locally means that they require less energy use

flects and engages with the communities in which it operates and

to be delivered, reducing a business’s carbon footprint, on

serves, the more resilient it and those communities will become.

top of the local economic development benefit they confer. It can be tempting to look farther afield when searching for sustainable suppliers because of the often more developed state of sustainability-conscious marketplaces in other parts of the country. Doing so, however, accepts higher shipping costs and a larger footprint, and also in the long run means less of an incentive for local community economies to adapt to sustainability trends. Buying locally whenever it is practical to do so is more likely to be the sustainability-conscious choice. “We really want to make sure we’re supporting the local market, that we don’t have to import things from far away if we can possibly get them locally,” says Mary Wolf-Francis of DIRTT. “We’re constantly going back and seeing what local businesses can offer, because if they can be competitive with others, then we want to give them business if at all possible.” Of course, the economies of local communities will also benefit: According to a study by the organization Local Works!,

Continually check where the market is On top of maintaining a continuing local focus, one key best practice in moving sustainability efforts forward is to continually check where the market is – in terms of services offered, price, and technological advancements. Ongoing research is therefore a key practice in finding suppliers who can help any business to achieve their sustainability goals. “If you take a look every quarter at what’s on the marketplace, you may be very surprised,” says Lorena Valencia of Reliance Wire & Cable. “Really do a deep dive. You will be happily surprised at what you’ll find, in part because technology is advancing in every area.” One need only look at the rate at which prices have fallen on LED lights or the rapid rise of “sharing economy” businesses – such as Uber and AirBnB – to understand the pace of innovation and its impact on business.

www.localfirstaz.com/studies/local-works/index.php

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

Negotiate

to finding the right suppliers. “Now if I try to bring in a local

Engaging in sustainable business practices can often present

body who knows me knows what I’m looking for,” Vasquez says.

higher upfront costs. Furthermore, changing to provide more

sustainable product, I’ve of built this network of people. Every-

sustainability-conscious products or services can some-

While still relatively new to the market and small in number, B

times mean higher costs or unwanted

Corps represent one such sustainable supplier network. They op-

adaptation for existing suppliers.

erate under a different form of incorporation that was legally rec-

Despite

ognized in Arizona as of the end of 2014. B Corps have a public

the

overarching

business case for sustain-

benefit purpose in addition to a for-profit purpose: Performance is

ability, where upfront

measured on social and environmental goals and companies are

costs are frequently offset by savings and greater revenue nities,

opportuthese

short-term considerations can be important to alleviate. Negotiating

“If you do what you need to do and get three or more bids after explaining what you want, suppliers will become interested in doing what they need to do to win your business.” — David Hertzberg, Sonoran Waste Disposal

with existing suppliers, as well as with new bidders for your business – can be important to attaining two goals. The first is to bring these costs down, and allow a business’s products to be price-competitive with a less sustainably produced substitute. Negotiating can also educate suppliers as to new market demand for sustainability-conscious ser-

held to rigorous standards for transparency and accountability.

Work to educate suppliers on best practices Larger businesses will be able to more easily move the market by setting sustainability goals and looking for certain commitments from suppliers. In many instances, the best option to ensure more sustainable supply chains will be to spread best practices to the suppliers themselves and to facilitate the sharing of sustainability knowledge among them. Building on a template of successful supplier education in other areas can be a start for this. This kind of education can take more or less formal forms. “We have webinars and an annual supply chain sustainability summit in China, where they talk about not only expectations, but also best practices and trends,” says Todd Brady of Intel. “This means helping to educate our supply chain, and facilitate sharing.”

vices. “If you do what you need to do and get three or more bids after explaining what you want, suppliers will become interested in doing what they need to do to win your business,” David Hertzberg of Sonoran Waste Disposal explains.

Include sustainability and verification on supplier scorecards Communicating expectations alone can be a powerful tool. How-

Build networks of suppliers working sustainably The difficulty of finding sustainability-focused suppliers can be greatly alleviated by consciously building a network. Forming close and cooperative relationships with other businesses working in this area can make the search for the right supplier much easier.

ever, including sustainability as one category of factors to be considered in a larger supplier scorecard gives these expectations tangibility, precision, and a clear importance. Once sustainability is on a supplier scorecard, “it’s now part of their feedback, looking at how they’re doing on sustainability,” says Intel’s Todd Brady. This step can build rigor into meeting a company’s sustainability goals, as well as reducing footprints all along the sup-

“For absolutely any type of business, if you want a successful

ply chain. This can particularly be the case if suppliers are

business, it is really about building relationships,” says Stepha-

required as part of their scorecard to supply precise and

nie Vasquez of Fair Trade Cafe. Make a point to know other

verifiable data relating to their own footprint. At Intel, for in-

businesspeople who have similar priorities and sustainability vi-

stance, “we have specific requirements with their supply chain

sions, because this can greatly ease the research that’s crucial

about disclosure of environmental information,” Brady says.

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

5

I N N OVAT I N G A N D MAKING PROGRESS

Sustainability is an ever-evolving field. A response to continuously changing environmental and social challenges, staying on top of sustainability thinking requires active and continued engagement with the concept. With this being the case, how can an organization ensure continued success? Innovating and making ongoing progress are key aspects of making a sustainability impact and realizing emerging opportunities. Organizations that have engaged on these topics offer some important advice on how to ensure these processes happen.

“Don’t be shy about tapping support that is out there,” says Ann Becker of APS. “There are organizations that exist to provide support to companies that want robust sustainability programs.” Nonprofit or industry groups (see “Further Resources” at the end of this paper) can provide critical awareness of the state of the art in sustainability thinking. An organization’s network goes further than that, though, including business partners and other enterprises in the industry. “Let’s understand if there’s a product or service you have that helps with what we’re doing,” says the Diamondbacks’ Graham Rossini. “Let’s find ways to enhance the partnership.”

Benchmark against peers Gather comprehensive data on your footprint Making progress can be tremendously aided by measuring progress – collecting data wherever possible so that new goals can be set against them. While this kind of data will help to attract sustainability-conscious buyers (as discussed previously), data serves a crucial internal function as well. This is the best way in which you can “know your footprint,” the major piece of advice offered as a key for all other progress. “It all starts with having information,” says Graham Rossini of the Diamondbacks. The ability to use a system in place that can look back on resource use for the 18-year history of Chase Field has given the Diamondbacks, for instance, key visibility into what progress is made and what is still possible. This type of information is also crucial when it comes to the process of benchmarking against other organizations in one’s sector.

Use your network – and ask for advice Organizations depend upon each other for sustainability success, and have an interest in sharing best practices in order to develop more robust networks of partners. Because of sustainability’s major social impacts, community and stakeholder organizations want to see the development of more sustainable business practices, too. These facts mean that for every business looking to adopt sustainability as an important principle, there is a network waiting that can help them see what sustainability means for them and to move toward sustainability goals.

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

Having sufficient command of data and information regarding a company’s own footprint can facilitate a process of benchmarking against others in the same sector. While the practical meaning of sustainability will vary from organization to organization, one of the most effective ways to make progress is to keep tabs on what others are doing. Any business looking to make progress on sustainability should “want to look at people who are sustainability leaders, and then see what you could be doing,” says APS’s Ann Becker. Oftentimes this kind of benchmarking is facilitated by industry organizations, universities, or government agencies that conduct studies. For instance, EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a free building energy tool backed by a large Arizona and national benchmarking dataset. Even in the absence of formal benchmarks, some amount of benchmarking can occur informally along each organization’s network. The important thing overall for any organization is to have an impression of where it is compared to peers, and based on this, what a next step could look like. “Look at your competitors, and also your customers,” says Sue Briggum of Waste Management. “Read their reports, understand what they might expect of you, what they might find appealing, and what you might be doing.”

Reach out to partners to pursue goals Keeping on top of the market and continually negotiating will give any organization the ability to find suppliers and partners

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES that can help work toward sustainability goals. However, it is also important to be strategic and to take a long view about how business partners, even if they are unable to meet all your needs immediately, might be able to facilitate them in the future.

contributions from throughout an organization also helps to capture the interest and enthusiasm of creative and dynamic individuals in the workforce. For an example, see the case study, “Engaging Employee Creativity in Sustainability.”

While it is essential for an organization in a buyer’s position to communicate expectations, it is often the supplier that will in the long run be able to develop crucial ideas for how to meet a goal. These types of conversations are important to have, even in the absence of the possibility of immediate solutions. This type of communication is about “making sure that our partners are aware that it’s of interest to us,” says Graham Rossini from the Diamondbacks. “At least we can get their wheels turning. And they’re mindful that it’s of interest to us, even if they can’t resolve it in that one conversation.” Enlisting other companies as potential allies in meeting long-term sustainability goals can help to lay the groundwork for ongoing successes.

Embrace ideas from throughout your organization While intertwined with building a commitment to sustainability organization-wide, ensuring that everyone within the organization has the opportunity and is motivated to contribute meaningfully to pursuing sustainability goals is important for reasons other than “It’s amazing buy-in.

when you engage

your employee base, For one, employees at all what kinds of ideas different levels for efficiency will will have unique come forward.” insights into pos— Todd Brady, Intel sible efficiencies and opportunities through hands-on experience. “Everybody has a specific vantage point,” says Lorena Valencia of Reliance Wire & Cable. “It’s not ignoring anyone in your chain, or anyone in your team. It really is about making sure there’s an open line of communication with every single one of your team members.” As Todd Brady of Intel says, “It’s amazing when you engage your employee base, what kinds of ideas for efficiency will come forward.” From a workforce perspective, valuing sustainability ideas and

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Set increasingly strategic goals Since sustainability programs have to start somewhere, initial goal-setting is likely to be shorter-term and focused on showing progress through initiatives that are attainable. Building on and institutionalizing that success, however, depends on becoming increasingly far-sighted. This means increasingly incorporating sustainability into company strategy. “After you demonstrate the benefit of sustainability, it’s a natural evolution to the more strategic element – what are the opportunities?” says Intel’s Todd Brady. At Intel, sustainability goal-setting has moved from annual goals, to five-year goals and more lately, 10-year goals. Strategic goals fit more naturally into larger business planning processes. With the basic value of sustainability demonstrated to the organization, making the biggest impact means including sustainability considerations in the early stages of work to bring new products or services to market, and into plans that look toward the long-term vision of the company. With the development of more strategic sustainability goals, such goals can also be accounted for routinely and systematically in organizational reports, whether they report on broader performance issues or sustainability in particular.

Never say you’re done Maintaining progress in sustainability over the long run means constantly revisiting goals, needs, and accomplishments, and never being content with the work that has already been done. Everyone in the organization must understand that sustainability is an evolutionary process, and one where further opportunity will always be on the horizon. “Constantly revisit it,” says Mary Wolf-Francis of DIRTT. “Is there something more I can be doing? Has something changed? There are always things that are changing around you that you can take advantage of.” If sustainability is a mind-set, then it is one that embraces continual evolution and is always looking for new opportunity. “I hope we never say we’re done. I hope it becomes engrained in our operation,” says the Diamondbacks’ Graham Rossini. “An eye for continuous improvement. That’s the big-picture goal for what we’re doing – we make lasting and impactful changes, but we never lose sight that there’s something we could be doing that’s smarter, more efficient, and has sustainability even more in mind.”

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CASE STUDY

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

ENGAGING E M PLOY E E C R E ATI V IT Y I N S US TA I N A B I L IT Y Intel is a leader in corporate sustainability, and this is in part because of how it engages its 100,000 employees on the issue. Like other companies, Intel sees its investment in sustainability as, in part, an investment in personnel, as young and talented workers expect their companies to have a meaningful sustainability commitment. Sustainability issues are also ones about which many employees feel particular responsibility or enthusiasm, something which Intel has tapped to benefit both the company’s operations and the broader community. Through its Sustainability in Action Grant Program, Intel issues an annual call for proposals to all its employees and funds community sustainability projects those employees lead, which either directly or not so directly involve Intel’s operations. Funding 10 separate initiatives last year, the grant program has provided resources to address a range of sustainability issues. “The project ideas that employees come forward with are amazing,” says Todd Brady, global environmental director for Intel. “Past projects have ranged from using Intel technology to protect migrating sea turtles in Costa Rica, to rainwater harvesting at a school in Israel, to growing algae for fuel using the carbon dioxide from an Intel factory in Arizona. Another employee read about bee colony collapse disorder, and now in California employees maintain beehives, with the honey being sold in local farmer’s markets and used in the employee cafeteria.”

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

Projects funded by this program have a triple impact: on sustainability in the real world, on engaging talented and innovative employees in projects personally important to them, and in reinvesting in communities. As Brady says, “The benefits of sustainability are in engaging both the community, as well as the employee base.”

“The project ideas that employees come forward with are amazing.”

­— Todd Brady, Intel

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SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

CASE STUDY

O N E O F 21 K E Y APS SUPPLIERS

Founded in 1996 by Ron Romero, Southwest Ground Control (SGC) is an Arizona-based business that provides vegetation management services. Throughout the company’s existence, Romero has consistently focused his goals and values on the three pillars of sustainability – people, planet and profit. To illustrate his commitment, SGC’s fleet is emblazoned with the company logo and tagline: “Safe, Sustainable, Responsible.” SGC provides vegetation management for APS and has reached a very important milestone; the business has been designated as one of 21 key APS suppliers whose services are deemed critical to APS’ operations. Romero states that the keys to success with APS have been developing strategic relationships and consistently bringing new ideas and processes to the table. For example, SGC clears dangerous and unwanted vegetation away from APS’ critical high-power lines by using a proprietary herbicide process that saves an estimated 2.4 to 3.2 million gallons of water per year. Romero said that they have been employing this method for the last five years and in another five years they will have saved more than 30 million gallons of water during the 10-year period. Romero says that sustainability practices often have significant downstream benefits. While

30

reduced water use is a direct benefit, SGC also lowers emissions because their applicator vehicles don’t have to go back and forth to constantly refill the holding tanks; also, the reduced mileage decreases the danger of incursion while working on or near Native American sacred lands. Romero beams when he explains that his sustainability practices are also responsible for introducing and increasing grazing rangeland by eliminating invasive plant species and increasing pollinators like bees and butterflies. Romero explains that he has been encouraged by APS to work closely with cutting-edge herbicide manufacturers; these partnerships yielded innovative processes and encouraged the de-

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CASE STUDY

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: BEST PRACTICES

velopment of state-of-the-art equipment that is proven to be effective, efficient while also reducing landfill waste. By using large volume and reusable containers, Romero estimates that he avoids placing 12,000 plastic containers of conventional herbicide into a landfill and an additional 160 wooden pallets that are used to ship conventional containers. Although it is clear that Romero has a firm understanding of the planet and profit aspects of sustainability, he is not content to rest on his success.

For these reasons, there is no better company than Ron Romero’s Southwest Ground Control to demonstrate the importance and value of the 3 pillars of sustainability – people, planet and profit.

SGC demonstrates a high degree of respect for the environment and the beliefs of the land owners where his company works. When SGC is in the field working for APS, Romero understands that he and his crews directly represent APS. In Native lands that are culturally and archeologically sensitive, Romero works hard to avoid impacts to these important areas by walking rather than riding their ATVs and confining their use to existing roads and trails. Romero also works closely with the tribal spiritual leaders to ensure compliance, “I will offer an ATV, food and water to their spiritual leaders to monitor us while we work in areas that the tribes hold sacred. I think that these practices go a long way in developing trust and respect.”

“I will offer an ATV, food and water to their spiritual leaders to monitor us while we work in areas that the tribes hold sacred. I think that these practices go a long way in developing trust and respect.”

SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

­— Ron Romero, SGC

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FURTHER RESOURCES

APS Solutions for Business energy efficiency rebates - www.aps.com/BetterBottomLine ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives - https://sustainabilitysolutions.asu.edu/ B Corps - https://www.bcorporation.net/ Business for Social Responsibility - http://www.bsr.org/ Ceres – for business sustainability leadership - https://www.ceres.org/ Circular economy background - http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy Edible Phoenix - http://ediblephoenix.ediblefeast.com/ Energy Efficiency Financing - http://aceee.org/topics/energy-efficiency-financing Energy efficiency in buildings – https://energize.asu.edu/ Green leasing - http://www.imt.org/finance-and-real-estate/green-leasing/infographic Landscaping for the desert - http://www.amwua.org/plants/ LEED® green building certification - http://www.usgbc.org/leed Local First AZ business directory - http://www.localfirstaz.com/directory/ Living Building Challenge - http://living-future.org/lbc Recycling solutions - http://search.earth911.com/ Resource Innovation and Solutions Network - https://resourceinnovation.asu.edu/ Solar energy - http://www.azsolarcenter.org/ Solar energy - https://www.ariseia.org/ SRP energy efficiency rebates - http://www.srpnet.com/menu/savingsbiz/default.aspx U.S. Zero Waste Business Council - http://www.uszwbc.org/ Water conservation rebates - http://waterawarenessmonth.com/rebates.html Water conservation strategies - http://www.azwater.gov/AzDWR/StatewidePlanning/Conservation2/CommercialIndustrial/default.html Water conservation strategies - http://www.amwua.org/business.html

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SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER


BEST PR ACTICES M ATRIX

ABOVE ALL:

1 LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONWIDE COMMITMENT

2 REDUCING WHAT’S WASTED

3 FINDING AND GROWING THE SUSTAINABILITY MARKET

KNOW YOUR FOOTPRINT

MAKE THE MOST DIRECTLY RELEVANT BUSINESS CASE

BE VISIBLE TO EMPLOYEES

SHOW PROGRESS

SET, TRACK AND REVIEW GOALS

CREATE A GREEN TEAM

INCENTIVIZE EMPLOYEES

INSTITUTIONALIZE EXECUTIVE ATTENTION

INVEST IN APPLIANCES, FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT THAT HAVE LOW RESOURCE NEEDS

BUY WHAT’S REUSABLE OR ADAPTABLE

MINIMIZE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO THE JOB

THINK SUSTAINABILITY WHEN BUILDING AND RENOVATING

PURCHASE RECYCLED AND RECYCLABLE GOODS

CONSIDER YOUR FOOTPRINT OUTSIDE YOUR OWN DOORS

CLOSE RESOURCE LOOPS – FIND WASTE’S NEXT USEABLE LIFE

TEST THE MARKET IN LOW-RISK WAYS

SHOW CUSTOMERS WHAT YOU’RE DOING

CONSIDER – AND MARKET – END-USER BENEFITS

IDENTIFY THE ENTIRE RANGE OF BENEFITS

EDUCATE: EXPAND MARKETS BY FOSTERING A MIND-SET

KEEP GOOD DATA ON YOUR IMPACT

BOOST YOUR PARTNERS

BUY LOCALLY

LOOK TO WOMEN- AND MINORITYOWNED BUSINESS ENTERPRISES

CONTINUALLY CHECK WHERE THE MARKET IS

NEGOTIATE

BUILD NETWORKS OF SUPPLIERS WORKING SUSTAINABLY

WORK TO EDUCATE SUPPLIERS ON BEST PRACTICES

INCLUDE SUSTAINABILITY AND VERIFICATION ON SUPPLIER SCORECARDS

GATHER COMPREHENSIVE DATA ON YOUR FOOTPRINT

USE YOUR NETWORK -- AND ASK FOR ADVICE

BENCHMARK AGAINST PEERS

REACH OUT TO PARTNERS TO PURSUE GOALS

EMBRACE IDEAS FROM THROUGHOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION

SET INCREASINGLY STRATEGIC GOALS

NEVER SAY YOU’RE DONE

4 SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIERS AND RESOURCES

5 INNOVATING AND MAKING PROGRESS

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NOTES

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NOTES

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