Doing Business the Sustainable Way

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR180
Case Length : 8 Pages
Pages Period : 2000-04
Organization : Climate Neutral Network, NatureWorks LLC, Weyerhaeuser Company
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : USA
Themes: Corporate Social Responsibility | Sustainability
Industry : Miscellaneous

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Doing Business the Sustainable Way

With increasing consumer awareness and multilateral frameworks like Kyoto Protocol coming into force, increasing numbers of companies have been focusing on 'energy efficiency' practices. Climate Neutral Network (Network) is an alliance of companies which helps organizations come out with products, services and processes in such a way that they have a net zero impact on the Earth's climate. Network also offers 'Climate Cool' ('Cool') certification for products and companies that conform to this outcome. Other activities of the Network include offering technical assistance to companies to make them climate-friendly, and developing a marketplace where 'Cool' products can be bought and sold.

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The marketplace is also meant as a means to promote knowledge exchange between participant companies to help them bring out environment-friendly products and services.

A company is certified as 'Cool' if it manages complete reduction and offsetting of the greenhouse gases generated due to its business practices starting from procurement of raw materials to the sale of its finished products. Certification of individual products or services as 'Cool' also requires reduction and offset of climate impact through the entire product life cycle which would include sourcing, production, distribution, usage and end-of-life disposal. Companies have found various advantages in being certified as 'Cool'. Shaklee Corporation , the first company to receive 'Cool'certification, saw the engagement with the Network as an opportunity to leverage on its history of environmental focus and performance.

The certification also helped the company to bring the green dimension to its brand image.

"We felt strongly about moving beyond past performances and striving just for reductions. We were attracted by the bold objectives of being climate neutral. It is not just old wine in a new bottle; the Network is innovative, groundbreaking and distinguishable,"said Ken Perkins, Environment, Health & Safety Director, Shaklee Corporation.

Knowledge sharing between participant companies has resulted in co-design of solutions which are environment friendly.

A pro-environment Business to Business market has also developed. The Boston, Massachusetts-based Saunders Hotel group (Saunders), which has been certified 'Cool', wanted to reduce energy consumption from hotel lighting, while not sacrificing the ambience.

Saunders worked with Philips Lighting (Philips) to design bulbs which were smaller in size and lighter in weight. "This provided an opportunity to plug-in new designs. The Climate Neutral Network is providing new business opportunities to put products into practice,"says Paul Walitsky, Manager -Environmental Affairs, Philips Lighting...

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