Archive for April, 2014

Narrowing the Field of Opportunities for Sustainable Business

Before you launch any detailed analysis of possible sustainability-related initiatives in your business, consider filtering the possibilities through a business-sustainability grid. The April 2014, issue of Harvard Business Review (see article: “Sustainability a CFO Can Love” by Kurt Kuehn with Lynette McIntyre), provided one that is shown below in simplified form.

According to the authors, UPS (yes the courier people) grouped their sustainability issues according to two criteria:
a) materiality (how significant it is/how much difference it makes) to stakeholders and
b) materiality (influence on success) to the business.

In this context, materiality means how significant is it or how much influence or impact does it make? Something with low materiality means the issue is not all that significant or doesn’t have much impact/influence. High materiality means that issue is very significant or has a major impact/influence. In short order, this assessment is going to help you decide which issues should be at the top of your list for further investigation and/or action.

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