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Throughout the great recession of 2007 – 2010, there has been a dislocation of trust between companies and the global communities they serve. Emerging from the recession – any company wanting to repair such dislocation has used sustainability as the model to achieve best results.


Whether it is customers, companies want to engage, or investors through the reduction of risk, or employees to improve team cohesion, drive innovation and attract best talent from the ascendant eco-boomers; sustainability connects all the interdependent functional areas in a more holistic manner, driving down costs - delivering on-going value through the introduction of a continuous cycle of improvement.


Companies that show a lack of understanding as to the business model and value opportunities of sustainability run the high risk of stunted growth and make the course of any economic up-turn more treacherous.


Supply chains are being transformed through sustainable procurement practices. Advances in distribution technologies are reducing the costs between consumers and companies, so dampening demand for ever expanding, energy consuming, warehouse space.


Companies are realising and accepting they can provide improved customer service from smaller needs for office space and gain the economies of lower overheads.


Sustainability embedded into the DNA of an organisation gains the economic benefits of asset, and resource optimization to stave off cramped profits. The decision made on embracing sustainability as a model buttresses trust and the balance sheet, enabling a company’s ability to create competitive advantage and nurse income streams with better-controlled costs.


As the recession started to draw blood; companies found they had issues with over capacity; forcing them to make cuts. The point here is to learn how to operate with less and enhance profitability. Here again, the need to attract best talent, who are far more productive, innovative and focussed on the constraints of an ever increasingly resource constrained world – sustainability is the model to deliver the wants of the twenty first century.


The natural evolution of sustainability will separate the winners and losers in an emerging bifurcated market place (see: Sustainability – a new business paradigm, Christopher Gleadle)


Extract: The evolution of sustainability - Christopher Gleadle


Christopher Gleadle


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Comment by Christopher Gleadle on April 5, 2011 at 3:48pm

Whilst there are many global companies to choose from for examples, as registered through GRi, CDP and corporate register; I believe it is important to also keep scaleability in mind, and to show how the supply chain is coming under pressure. Therefore, the example I would like to give is an SME:


It is a £25m business services company in the UK, and has delivered some of its sharpest growth through the recession.  Whilst growing the business by £4m, which they directly attribute to their sustainability credentials, they further reduced their emissions by 50% and saved over £100,000. The free PR the company collected was immeasurable and included: local and national press coverage and television appearances; boosting their brand, reputation and market exposure.

Comment by Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul on April 1, 2011 at 5:13pm

Dear Chris, Thanks for sharing your great blog with us. 

Recession changed minds of companies and also made a negative effect on previous initiatives. I also agree you that developing sustainable models would help to the companies and bring a competitive advantage as well.

Would you please give us a best sample from companies, who has geared up in sustainability issues after recession and got benefit out of those efforts...


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