Real change only occurs when individuals stick their necks out, beark some proverbial balls, and lead. This is never easy. Environmental activists have often demonstated great creativity in highlighting environmental problems. But only in recent years have they been joined by equally strong corporate counterparts demonstrating their own brand of creative leadership. One courageous individual can sound the alarm, but several courageous individuals, backed by business, government and social movements.
Each of these companies showcased faced environmental problems, each responded appropriately because one or more of its staff rocked the boat. The resulting changes are now viewed as assets to their respective corperation’s growth, market position, supply chain management, innovation, brand position and long-term security. Demonstrating real courage in facing complicated and difficult environmental challenges.
Who is Taking the First Step
Parts of the Amazon are regularly cleared to grow soybeans for animal feed. As a result of hard-fought campaigns by local activists and a variety of national and international nongovernmental organizations along with negoiations with corperations all parties agreed to a moratorium on the growth and export of soy from newly deforested Amazon land. Today many corperations that include McDonald’s have policies that preclude using products from newly cleared rain forests. The moratorium, which has been extended several times, is still in place.
In 2011 it became the first multinational corperation to create an integrated report that converted environmental information and data into monetary terms. The Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L). The EP&L was developed with a partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Trucost. The statement quantifies and monetizes environmental impact and integrates it into the operational profit and loss. Puma’s parent companie PPR owner of Gucci, Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent are posied to produce EP&Ls for the entire company by 2015.
Tiffany and Co.
Mining is an industry that’s essential for so much of what we use and produce. Earthworks has been incouraging companies to clean up thier mining operations for over twenty-five years. Tiffany and Earthworks worked together in the aftermath of the controversy over conflict diamonds in the early 2000s to create a Responsible Gold Mining Protocol. Previously manufacturers and retailers focused on securing the materials they needed without much thought to their sources. Tiffany by changing its own supply chain-to source directly form responsible mines.
In 2010, the company introduced Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (SLP). The company is on its way to reaching its 2020 goals to halve its environmental and social impact while simultaineously doubling its business. It has also establsihed a Global Advocacy Office that works to change the rules of business to develop sustainable industries.