advertisement
advertisement

What’s Necessary to Make a Sustainable Business?

Information. Sustainability initiatives can’t succeed unless you know where you are starting out, what you are doing, and where you are going. Especially if the Obama Administration’s cap-and-trade bill becomes law, which seems likely, companies will need good raw data, because that information will be translated into dollars on the carbon market.

Information. Sustainability initiatives can’t succeed unless you
know where you are starting out, what you are doing, and where you are
going. Especially if the Obama Administration’s cap-and-trade bill
becomes law, which seems likely, companies will need good raw data,
because that information will be translated into dollars on the carbon
market.

advertisement
advertisement

If you were the person in charge of writing the Corporate Social
Responsibility Report for your company, and you wanted to make sure you
had accurate data on your carbon management, greenhouse gas emissions,
and sustainability practices, where would you look in your
organization: the ERP system, the EMS system, the BI application? Data
from each individual facility? Probably all of those. And on somebody’s
Excel spread sheets, too.

Enterprise software was sold in pieces, each piece promising that it
would be a “total solution.” Ironically, only twenty years after the
first adoptions are we realizing that we need to see across facilities,
departments, and processes to figure out how to build sustainable
businesses.

That mean building “bridges” between systems so they can talk to
each other. IBM’s new Green Sigma(TM) initiative is the first time
industry leaders are coming together to work collaboratively to address
greenhouse gas and carbon management and sustainability
enterprise-wide. Charter members of the Green Sigma™ Coalition
are Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, ESS,
Cisco, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and
SAP. The coalition members will work with IBM to integrate their
products and services with IBM’s Green Sigma solution.

Robert Johnson, CEO of ESS
,
one of the charter members of Green Sigma, explained it simply: “In
order to address GHG, carbon and sustainability across your company,
you have to get all the data collected and rolled up. In the past, it’s
been in silos, and companies have had difficulty getting it out of the
different vendor systems.”

The Industry has evolved with vendors working in isolation doing
their own thing, because companies have never had to collect and merge
data before for any real purpose. The systems they have in place were
bought by individual departments to handle certain situations, and were
never designed to be integrated.

But things have changed with the increased emphasis on the
environment. Green Sigma is a group of leaders, typically in corporate
IT environments, who have decided to help clients by making it easier
for systems to talk to each other. It is based on Lean Six Sigma, a
business strategy for carefully analyzing operations to improve overall
efficiency, lower costs, increase quality, and add, change or eliminate
activities and processes to improve overall performance.

ESS is excited because it is the only small independent company on
the charter founder roster. The next smallest company is over a billion
in market cap. But Robert Johnson has been an evangelist on the subject
of unified platforms for years, and ironically the company has had some
big successes in China, where the US wants to sell its green products
and services as it retools its own economy. ESS is already the
environmental health and safety platform for China Light and Power,
China National Petroleum, and PetroChina. If anyone can help the big
guys pull together their disparate efforts into actionable information,
it’s a small company.

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned communications strategist. She co-founded Stealthmode Partners, an accelerator and advocate for entrepreneurs in technology and health care, in 1998

More