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" Sustainability must be embedded into the DNA of your business and woven into your core business activity. "focus on single issues in tandem and miss out on key sustainability risk areas. No one risk should be looked at in isolation. For example, water is essential to energy generation, water shortages could lead to black-outs, black-outs could stop a company from manufacturing, which could in turn create customer dissatisfaction and ultimately damage the company's reputation. Each sustainability issue must be assessed against all the other factors and then assessed against the business strategy, future plans and the company's commercial value-chain.A sustainability strategy must reflect the needs of the business, the markets you operate in, your consumers, your stakeholders and your core business ambitions. A glossy document is no good if the business is not fully engaged with the journey, the values and the underlying plan. One company that does this particularly well is Timberland. Last year it unveiled plans to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent, increase its use of green power by 30 per cent and boost the use of recycled or renewable material in its lines by 50 per cent. It also created a dialogue with stakeholders, partners and consumers, giving them an opportunity to shape the future. "We want to be proof positive in terms of the change we seek to influence through our business. Engaging employees and communities in this work is a critical part of our objectives," says Mark Newton, Vice President of CSR for Timberland. Any business sustainability approach, geared to delivering shareholder value, should include:n Regular board meetings to review both the business plan and the sustainability strategy, ensuring that the objectives of both are aligned; n A strong corporate governance policy which is regularly reviewed;n Short, medium and long-term goals;n Board members with allocated sustainability responsibilities and targets that they are ultimately responsible for;n A sustainability strategy with clear goals, objectives and measurable KPIs;n A risk register with sustainability flagged as a key risk;n Business risks which are assessed against sustainability parameters; n Sustainability champions across the organisation in each core business area;n A sustainability management system, which evaluates, day-by-day, how the business is performing;n A yearly sustainability report, which is disclosed through one of the voluntary reporting mechanisms;n An innovation programme that looks at improving existing business models, life cycle performance and products & services - this can include working with technology and innovation partners to improve performance, spot trends and look at better ways of doing business;n A quality assurance methodology (ISO, six sigma and lean) aligned with sustainability to test and create future improvements;n Staff training and development with a focus on corporate and sustainability principles so directors can monitor progress, performance and cultural change within the organisation;n Transparent stakeholder relationships;n An investment view which understands how sustainability effects financial performance;n A pension fund which reflects the company's sustainability approach. Any companies incorporating these elements into their business strategy will find they are in a robust position to face the challenges of the future and make lucrative returns. Take control of your business. Rethink your strategies. Analyse your commercial security, even if you think it's currently stable. Manoeuvre true change. Whatever is or is not delivered in Rio, if you map out all your future risks now, you will navigate a safe path through the many challenges of tomorrow. Businesses, not governments, have the power to change the direction of this world. And there is something in it for everyone. nAbout the AuthorDavid Beer is the Managing Director and co-founder of IndustryRE Sustainability - a sustainable management consultancy. He firmly be- lieves in creating profitable sustainability businesses, using innovation and transformative thinking to create commercial success.Mr Beer has over twenty years of commercial, management and sustainability experience. He holds a New Zealand Electrical Engineering qualification and he has used his technical and commercial experience within the environmental sustainability arena, with a particular emphasis on climate risk management. He has advised blue-chip businesses on how to adapt to the challenges of our changing climate. Recently, David Beer was pivotal in setting up Guardian News and Media's Sustainable Business platform (GSB) to support the global transition to a sustainable future. He has also advised International Green Awards for the past two years.   For more information visit: www.industryre.comsustainable business 111

SUSTAINIA: The Sustainable Society of TomorrowLaura Storm, Executive Director, Sustainia For too long sustainability has been about restraints. About the things we had to give up in order not to destroy the fragile planet we live on. But imagine if this stigma changed. Imagine if sustainable life were desirable and worth striving for - not because of moral obligations or fear for the environment, but because sustainability makes our lives better.We welcome you to Sustainia. Sustainia is a new and holistic vision - based entirely on solid intelligence - of what a sustainable world can look like. Here, the most exciting opportunities for our personal lives, businesses, and planet, are one and the same. Sustainia presents a clear and concrete view of how our sustainable future could look and how its inhabitants - Sustainians - live a better life than we know today.Some will argue that such dreams are utopian and unrealistic. But they are not. All the solutions presented in Sustainia are based on ready and available technology. The research behind Sustainia comes from the most authoritative of sources, including world-leading universities, and respected global institutions, organizations, and corporations. Most of the initiatives we speak of in Sustainia are already in place somewhere the world. And the conclusion is clear: a sustainable society is within our reach; we just need to implement and disseminate solutions already at hand. Gathering the best ideas and solutionsSolutions that simultaneously improve social, economic, and environmental life exist. We know that. These are not things of the future. The problem is they have always been scattered and disconnected.They are puzzle pieces, which to a large extent have been hidden around the world in the minds of architects, engineers, and scientists; in thousands of complex reports and analyses; and in experimental and innovative city projects. Basically, we have the pieces it takes to build a sustainable and desirable society - we just have not seen them all together.Sustainia collects these pieces and fits them together. And the resulting picture is something to get excited about.A NEW APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY - AND A NEW LANGUAGEBut let us go back up. How did Sustainia come to be? Following the disappointing outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15), a group of ambitious international companies1 met to discuss a new way forward. Disappointed with the lack of action at the political level, they agreed a new approach was needed.For decades we thought the scientific consensus on the impact of climate change would guarantee action. For decades we tried to change society through fear - doomsday scenarios of cities swallowed by the sea. For decades companies developed ambitious policy recommendations to help steer the political framework. And for decades nothing happened. How many decades will be proof enough that this strategy doesn't work?Right: Laura Storm, Executive Director of Sustainia, presenting the Guide to Sustainia at last year's Take Lead conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. An e-version is available at sustainable businessBUILDING THE WORLD OF TOMORROWSUSTAINIA