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Interface's president, Ray Anderson, is a true business leader at his organization and in the world. He stated in a TED program that theft is a crime and what we are stealing is our children's future. His company has revolutionized the carpet industry and plans to have zero environmental footprint by 2020. He stated that we live in a web of life and we have a choice to make while we are here on earth – to either hurt it or help it. What will you do?

All organizations today need to take a part in helping to sustain our world. Governments have the biggest control, managing our water, our energy, and our waste. Many governments today are going to private partnerships for management of these areas. Will this ensure proper management of these areas? I am not totally convinced; it will depend on the requirements to improve on environmental impacts.

Having an environmental management system that meets the ISO 14001 criteria will ensure that an organization has identified its environmental risks or impacts and has put a framework for managing its business in place, setting strategic plans not only for improving cost measures tied to consumption of energy and materials, reductions in waste and scrap, and reformulation of products to conserve resources and many other initiatives, but also for managing its business operations effectively and efficiently.

Companies that show stakeholders that they are truly doing something to save our planet are those that people want to work for, and therefore they will attract the best people in the future. Due to loss of managers from the grey tsunami, there will be limited choices.


Focus: Environment – Prevention of Pollution

1 Has your organization made a commitment to prevention of pollution and improvement of environmental performance?

a. How has your organization improved the environmental impact on the world?

b. Is your company a catalyst for change in the environment? How?

2 Why is environmental management important to your organization? Do you presently have environmental concepts in your business practice, but not an environmental management system?

3 I s your business sustainable? Would environmental management help to improve your costs? Help you to have a competitive edge? Would you be willing to try?

4 I s your company innovative in managing the following? What have you done? What are the risks if you do not address these areas?

a. Energy

b. Water consumption

c. Waste recycling

d. Waste reuse

e. Material substitution

5 Commitments to environmental management are tied to your budget. What commitments and innovation has your organization made to improving environmental management? Are they measureable?

a. Within your organization's activities and services – reducing your environmental footprint

b. Designing and manufacturing innovative products that reduce environmental and social impacts

c. Outside – providing funding to environmental groups (e.g., 1 percent for the planet)

6 Has your organization reduced environmental impacts associated with following?

a. Natural resources (consumption of energy, water)

b. Reduction of solid waste generation

c. Air pollution – greenhouse gases

d. Wastewater effluent

e. Soil or land contamination

f. Noise

g. Smell

7 Have you improved your environmental impacts? How?

8 Do you manage your environmental business risks more effectively than your competitors? Do your business competitors have an EMS in place or are they in the process?

9 Does your organization have a sustainability program in place? Do you report on sustainability?

10 How can your company do more with less?

11 How do you prepare for growth in an era of natural resource scarcity?

12 How do you ensure that your environmental commitments are taken into account when maintaining your environmental management system?

13 What have you done in the following areas for prevention of pollution?

a. Production: Changes in equipment or processes to reduce emissions or consumption of resources

b. Purchasing: Changes in types of materials ordered

c. Maintenance: Changes in chemicals used; changes in energy-saving lightbulbs

d. Life cycle: Disposal of products

14 What do you benchmark your success in environmental sustainability to?

a. Reduction of risk

b. Increased value

15 How does your organization review the risks tied with its processes, projects, changes, and business shut-downs or closings?

16 How do you inform the consumer about the safe use, storage, and disposal of your products?

17 How is the environment impacting your business?

18 How has your organization lead in environmental in emerging countries?

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