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Sustainability Footprints in SMEs
Building Sustainably Managed
Enterprises – the new SMEs
Objectives
• Review the main sustainability issues
• Discuss the Sustainability Footprint Cycle
• Discuss the concept of absolute zero
Our Unsustainable Choice
• Use of fossil fuels to generate the energy that powers our
homes and businesses
• Fixation on the internal combustion engine a contributing
factor to global industrialization.
• Growing industrialization of global society - we now live
further from our natural resources such as food, water and
fuel through sub-urbanization.
• This distancing of human beings from the resources upon
which our lives are dependent
• The social inequities between the affluent nations and less
affluent nations
• This acceptance has created a proliferation of definitions for
sustainability.
Sustainability challenges with SMES
Prior studies into the use of sustainability
footprint tools have focused on listed companies
with limited research into its use within the SME
sector (FTSE Carbon Disclosure Project Index,
2010)
Critically firms are unable to quantify the
benefits of adopting sustainability footprint
tools such as the carbon footprint (Demos 2006)
Sustainability Footprint Cycle
SUSTAINABILITY
FOOTPRINT
•CARBON FOOTPRINT
•SOCIAL FOOTPRINT
•WATER FOOTPRINT
STRATEGIC
ENABLERS
•PEOPLE
•PRODUCTS/SERVICES
•PROCESSES
SUSTAINABILITY
OUTCOMES
•STAKEHOLDER SYNERGY
•DECARBONISATION
•DEMATERIALISATION
•PRODUCT INNOVATION
•NEW PRODUCT CREATION
Sustainable Strategic Growth Model
Future
Sustainability
Barrier
FUTURE SUSTAINABLE
INNOVATION
LEARN
DEVELOP
IMPLEMENT
OPTIMISE
Sustainability
Envelope
Acquire
knowledge
Build Capability
Develop Policy
Implement Policy
Adopt Continuous
Improvement
Present Sustainable
Innovation
Renew &
Reward
commitment
to
sustainability
Synergy between Sustainability &
Quality
• Builds on existing approaches to quality management
such as the Plan, Do, Check and Act (PDCA)
methodology
• Overlaps with Quality in areas such as waste, supplier
engagement, safety, identifying the “hidden costs” of
poor management and customer satisfaction
• Adoption of quality models and tools such as cause and
effect diagrams, Pareto charts, check sheets, control
charts, histograms
• Strategic goal of absolute zero, the point at which no
more adverse risk can be removed from a system,
which is a benchmark upon which sustained customer
satisfaction can be achieved
References
Chapter 11 Sustainability Footprints in SMEs
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