May 19, 2020

Green Business Operations Growing Among Canadian Organizations

Energy Efficiency
business operations
green business practices
green operations
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Green Business Operations Growing Among Canadian Organizations

 

As business leaders navigate changing economic conditions and government regulations, they are realizing more and more that sustainability is no longer the job of one person, or even one department. Businesses are investing in “green” across the organization, and the buy-in starts in the boardroom.
 
That's how it works at Staples Advantage , a company that provides office products and services to businesses across Canada. Their Fifty Green program helps to minimize the packaging of an order, as well as the emissions from delivery trucks. Customers participating must ensure their orders are more than $50. If not, a $5 charge is applied, with half of the proceeds donated to Tree Canada—a not-for-profit organization that plants trees in Canada's communities.
 
The idea was not even born in the sustainability department. It came from the marketing team, when they sat down to brainstorm how to reduce the operational and environmental costs of small orders.
 
“Fifty Green fits with the business plan because it offers a triple win,” says Scott D'Cunha, the director of marketing for Staples Advantage. “It's good for customers because they find it easier to manage fewer deliveries and invoices; it's good for Staples because we're reducing the high costs associated with small orders; and it's good for the environment because we're reducing packaging and truck emissions, which is very significant when you're a distribution company. All this adds up to simply being good for business.”
 
Results from a 2010 Ernst & Young survey showed that 82 per cent of Canadian executives believe that a response to climate change is imperative and at that time were planning to increase spending for climate change initiatives.
 
More than 90 per cent of executives surveyed globally indicated that climate change governance rests with C-suite executives or board members. This statistic reflects the growing strategic importance of green initiatives for organizations who understand that climate change is not just a risk area but also an opportunity to reduce costs, increase revenue and gain competitive advantage.
 
For Staples Advantage, Fifty Green is doing what it should.
 
“Within two years of launching the program, our supply chain team recognized that they could reduce the number of trucks on the road and still meet customer commitments, just because of this initiative,” D'Cunha says. “Within three years we reduced the number of small orders by half. And the fact that we have funded the planting of 100,000 trees with Tree Canada to offset the environmental costs of small orders shows that we are really committed to sustainability, something our customers want to see in their partners.”
 
Scott Lesnet is Environmental Manager for HNI Corporation, the second-largest office furniture manufacturer in the world. They are the parent company for brands like HON and Allsteel, available in Canada through Staples Advantage. He says he's worked in the sustainability field for 30 years, and has always been able to demonstrate that environmental responsibility lowers costs.
 
“All the major furniture manufacturers are doing the same kinds of things to reduce their environmental impact,” he says. “Why? Because it just makes good sense.”
 
D'Cunha agrees, and advises that you can find innovative ways to leverage sustainability to meet your business goals.
 
“Businesses, in general, aim to accomplish the same thing—to make money. Sustainability is a key enabler—not an obstacle—to achieving that goal. By embracing that reality, you can attain both commercial success and a sense of contentment, knowing that you are making the world a better place.” 
 

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Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
G7Summit
Sustainability
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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