Environmental issues are top of mind for many companies and their stakeholders. With public awareness of environmental issues on the rise, companies have started to respond in meaningful ways through their investment decisions, environmental goals, and impact reduction. In the past few years, several major disruptive weather events have interrupted business as usual, underlining the need to address environmental issues as a serious risk to business. The United States public spent approximately $100 billion responding to extreme weather events in the last year (NRDC.org 2012) and companies are not immune to such high costs. The benefits of managing environmental impacts are both tangible and intangible, often resulting in cost savings and even revenue generation (see this research brief for more information.)
In 2011, Newell Rubbermaid developed an environmental sustainability program designed to measure progress toward its goals to reduce water and energy usage, lower emissions and increase recycling across the company. The Environmental Sustainability Excellence (ESX) program, as it is now called, allows Newell Rubbermaid’s facilities to systematically assess the environmental impacts associated with production and upstream supply chain activities. Balaji Jayaseelan, Newell Rubbermaid’s Program Manager of Environmental Sustainability, recently shared some insights into the development of the ESX program and its impact on the company’s sustainability efforts.
Environmental-friendly products and services have become increasingly popular with mainstream consumers, attracting many new companies to the green marketplace. If done well, they can generate serious profits and boost a company’s reputation. If done poorly, companies risk backlash from consumers and accusations of “greenwashing.”