The last three decades have been difficult for companies and industry. In an increasingly competitive intertiol business climate with shifting tiol environmental regulations, higher standards are being demanded by the consumer and community groups, not-to-mention the escalating cost of primary resources such as water, steel and minerals. The cause of these pressures is the traditiol notion held by business executives and engineers that there is an inherent trade off between eco-efficiency and improving the economic bottom line. However there is significant evidence and examples of best practice to show that there is in fact no trade-off between the environment and the economy if sustaible development through continual improvement is adopted. It is highly possible therefore for companies to make a profitable transition towards sustaible business practice, where along the transition significant business opportunities can be taken advantage of. Companies are by their very ture dymic, influential and highly capable of adapting to change. Making an organisatiol transformation to a sustaible business is not outside the capacity of the typical company, who know much of what is needed already to change their activities to satisfy current market demands while achieving competitiveness. However in order to make the transition towards sustaible business practice companies require some key mechanisms such as accurate information on methodologies and opportunities, understanding of the fincial and non-fincial incentives, permission from stakeholders and shareholders, understanding of the emerging market opportunities, a critical mass of leaders in their sector and demonstrated case studies, and awarding appropriate risk-taking activities undertaken by engineers and CEOs. Satisfying these requirements will adopt an innovative culture within the company that strives for continual improvement and successfully transforms itself to achieve competitiveness in the 21st Century. This paper will summarise the experiences of The tural Edge Project (TNEP) and its partners in assisting organisations to make a profitable transition towards sustaible business practice through several initiatives. The tural Advantage of tions publication provides the critical information required by business leaders and engineers to set the context of sustaible business practice. The Profiting in a Carbon Constrained World report, developed with tural Capitalism Inc led by Hunter Lovins, summarises the opportunities available to companies to take advantage of the carbon trading market mechanisms such as the Chicago Climate Exchange and European Climate Exchange. The Sustaibility Helix then guides the company through the transition by identifying the key tools and methodologies required by companies to reduce environmental loading while dramatically improving resource productivity and achieving competitiveness. Filly, the Engineering Sustaible Solutions Program delivers the key engineering information required by companies and university departments to deliver sustaible engineering solutions. The initiatives are of varying complexity and level of application, however all are designed to provide key staff the critical information required to make a profitable transition towards sustaible business practice. It is then their responsibility to apply and teach their knowledge to the rest of the organisation.
ASEE/AaeE 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education (2005)
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