Metropolitan areas across the U.S. saw temperatures drop to historic lows during the first week of 2018, as frigid Arctic air circulated through the Midwest and Northeast, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate center published on the Weather Channel. With lows falling below zero, families forewent the outdoor activities usually associated with winter for safety reasons. However, many workers braved the dangerous temperatures and wind chills to perform critical tasks, risking their health to keep utilities up and running or roads clear. It is likely such work will be required again over the next two months. With this in mind, businesses with extensive outdoor workforces should prepare their workers for the frigid cold.
There were roughly three million non-fatal accidents and more than ten thousand severe injuries in 2014. In the safest workplace era we've ever lived in, these figures are far too high. A preventative safety culture can help organizations avoid workplace accidents before they arise.
The Bloomberg New Energy Finance has recently predicted that by 2013 the EU carbon market will be worth € 80 billion and then increase to € 94 billion by 2014. This market in essence is a response based on free market principles to the issue of climate change. Even after the checkered track record of Kyoto Protocol the world has not lost faith in the idea that emission reduction and mitigation is the most effective way to fight Global Warming. As we continue to cap and trade our net emission and try to make a quick buck while saving the planet another idea has been gaining prominence; Carbon Sequestration.
According to a report from McKinsey, the United States could save as much as $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years while only investing half of that amount in energy efficiency initiatives. The resulting savings would cut energy use about 23% by the year 2020, an astounding figure.
A proactive approach to energy efficiency and management represents, in effect, a considerable energy resource. A correct approach would incorporate all elements of society and commerce and reap almost unheard-of dividends, but would require widespread adoption.
During the last decade, the reporting of non-financial information has become widespread. While only 44 firms followed the Global Reporting Initiative‘s (GRI) guidelines to report sustainability information in 2000, the number grew to 1,973 by 2010. National governments and stock exchanges have promoted sustainability reporting by adopting laws and regulations that specifically mandate this form of disclosure.
At a recent alumni meeting at my college, I overheard someone say “the sole purpose of a company is to generate returns for its shareholders, so why should I invest in sustainability decreasing my profit and thus the return of my shareholders”.
My anticipation of the GRI 4.0 guidelines, which are to be released in the later part of May, led me to consider what are benefits reaped from companies answering long questionnaires or maintaining sustainability scorecards? Also, who uses these scorecards, and why?
By implementing Sustainability practices, a company can outperform the expectations of its stakeholders, embracing global challenges – turning them into opportunities. In order to create long term value, it is essential to have accurate financial and non-financial data. Access to reliable data empowers the company with smart decision making, bringing the company one step closer to meeting targets and effectively influencing behavior. Currently, the principal means of communication to stakeholders is the annual ‘Sustainability Report’.Here goes the simple 5-step roadmap provided by GRI, the company which supplies the framework that is widely used by most of the companies for sustainability reporting.