Going Green: The benefits global businesses reap from environmental initiatives
Australia’s government offers a fairly comprehensive plan for reducing the negative impact the country’s people and businesses have on the environment. The Department of the Environment has specific goals to maintain clean air, land and water to preserve the country’s national heritage.
Included in these plans is a push towards renewable energy, with a look towards offshore wind energy and a shift from coal to gas. The government is also focusing on energy efficiency and bringing new technology to the industrial sector increase efficiency. Public transportation is a priority.
Green initiatives are part of what some are considering a global economic revolution towards improving sustainability and the environmentally-friendly nature of business. Using clean energy and promoting energy efficiency in your own business is a competitive advantage too few companies are taking advantage of. Read on to find out how global brands are implementing green initiatives and benefitting from the move to green.
IKEA: DIY assembly means less fuel usage
Care for the environment is taken at every turn with IKEA. After highly publicised scandals involving the company’s use of formaldehyde in the 1980s and 1992, IKEA has been proactive in instituting environmentally-friendly initiatives. Not only do they support sustainable forestry techniques, but they are also heavily investing in solar and wind energy. By doubling their investments in renewable energy, IKEA plans to be using 100 percent clean energy by 2020.
Their core environmental values are available for all to view via their IKEA Way of Purchasing (IWAY) initiative. IWAY standards are the minimum requirements for environmental and social and working conditions to be addressed when the company purchases products, materials and services.
Read related articles from Business Review Australia:
- Could Australia run on renewable energy in 10 years?
- Australia moves to reduce impact on environment through carbon farming
- Is Australia heading for a nuclear future?
Recently, plastic bags are no longer provided to the customer; instead, reusable bags are for sale. IKEA GreenTech, a venture capital fund founded in 2008, plans to invest in companies focused on solar panels, alternative light source, energy efficiency and water saving and purification. And the reason you assemble the furniture for yourself? You can ship more flat packages easier, saving on fuel and fuel costs. For more information on their current and future sustainability efforts, click here.
Amcor: Innovative packaging for sustainability
Amcor is a multinational packaging leader that had its roots originally in Australia. Their three focuses for responsible environment management include greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – spotlighting a 10 percent reduction by 2015-2016, and a 60 percent reduction by 2030; waste to landfill – including a 50 percent reduction in waste to landfill with a long term goal of zero waste sent to landfills; and water use – hoping to reach a 25 percent reduction in water use by 2015-2016 (for their Australasia business).
Their sustainability policy is all encompassing, covering the environment, community, workplace, marketplace and economy. The company vows to keep communication open with the community and workforce so that issues and concerns can be quickly addressed.
And because they are a packaging company, Amcor strives to continuously innovate their packaging to be lighter and include more recycled materials so that it has a smaller negative impact on the environment. They are always looking to optimise packaging size, promote resealable packaging to reduce food waste and promote more energy efficient methods of food preparation by engineering microwaveable packs. For their 2013 Sustainability Report, click here.
Nike: Environmentally friendly football shoes
Nike’s headquarters in the Netherlands used recycled aluminium frames in its construction, and utilizes an underground energy storage system. The company has strict emission standards, and as such as reduced their carbon footprint by approximately 80 percent since the 90s. SF(6), a greenhouse gas, has been phased out of their products, and they continue to research the impact Nike products have on the environment.
By the end of 2011, their environmental initiative, which had been implemented in only 36 percent of their stores in North American stores, had save 3.1 million KWHs of electricity, which equates to over 420 cars off of the road. Most impressively, the initiative showed a 20 percent return on investment.
What’s more, Nike is focusing their green efforts on the manufacture of environmentally-friendly products like the Nike GS 2, released over a year ago. The football show is made from renewable and recycled materials, and has been optimized to reduce weight and waste. Several components of the shoe are made from a minimum of 70 percent recycled materials. For more information about Nike’s environmental impact, click here.
Benefits of running a green business
The benefits from setting some environmentally-friendly plans in place are far-reaching. Perhaps the most attractive upside is saving on energy costs. Chemical manufacturer DuPont saved over $US3 billion over two decades just by reducing their carbon emissions. Switch to renewable energy sources or use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, and revel in the savings.
Being known as a green firm could potentially attract like-minded employees and consumers. Sustainability and environmentally-friendly concepts contribute in part to a revolution in the way global companies do business, and the trend has many supporters. Make your environmental initiatives part of your marketing campaigns – advertise the changes you are making on your website. You’ll no doubt garner support from the green community.
Employing these environmentally-friendly plans doesn’t have to be a selfless move – on top of the monetary and personnel benefits, there are also several awards and recognitions for companies that choose to do green business. The Australian Business Awards offer a specific award for sustainability, and Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection offers several community, eco-efficiency and innovation awards.
Promoting the green concepts with your employees can have unexpected returns as well. Encouraging healthier diets and more exercise could lead to your workers taking less sick days. Don’t fill your vending machines with sugary snacks and drinks – see if there are more natural options.
Of course, leaving the planet better than we found it so future generations can enjoy it has a pretty big appeal as well.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”