This past January at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland the global c-suite community met to discuss the current state, as well as the future of, important global macro-economic forces such as: Mobility, Financial Systems, and The Environment and Natural Resource Security and Energy, amongst others. Each WEF meeting is accompanied with a Global Risks Report and according to the 2017/18 Report, the international business community is most concerned about: nuclear war and climate change.
The risks listed after weapons of mass destruction in the above graphic are all directly or indirectly related to climate change. Having a strategy around each of these business risks have become critical to corporate leaders. One method for assessing these risks is the incorporation of environmentally sustainable business practices that conserve resources and reduce, or eliminate, pollution. Some of these practices come in the form of environmental regulations but they don’t always start out that way. As an example, Greenhouse Gas Reporting was not previously a regulation and now it has become a state-wide cap-n-trade program. Another example of a sustainability practice becoming regulation is tied to the constant state of drought in California and the scarcity of water resources. This uncertainty around water has spurred numerous city governments and the state legislature to pass energy and water usage benchmarking and retro-commissioning ordinances and regulations. These ordinances and regulations (such as the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance in Los Angeles) require the continuous reduction of water and electricity usage in large buildings (50K Sqft+) over certain time-intervals and the benchmarking, done annually, can be used to track the resulting greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved from less water and electricity consumption.
It is a guarantee that if you are operating in California, more sustainability practices will become regulation and it is important to plan for this because these regulations are inextricably tied to the WEF’s business risks. A great starting point for any sustainability strategy is to assess your current business operations and ensure you are currently in compliance with all local, state, and federal environmental regulations. The next step may involve bringing in some help. Here, an expert on sustainability would come to your site and assess the most cost-effective administrative, operational, and technological changes that could be implemented to ensure that pollution and waste are actively being reduced (or eliminated altogether) and that water and energy are being conserved.
If you are a business that wants to proactively stay ahead of the regulations and be prepared for any natural disaster, Alta has a team of experts that can assist you with a variety of sustainability strategies such as: waste-stream characterizations, zero-waste assessments, groundwater recharge through Stormwater BMPs, GRI and CDP Reporting, greenhouse gas inventories, metric identification and tracking, and employee training of newly implemented programs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 777-0605.