Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sustainable Value Portfolio

For those familiar with "sustainability" and business, there's nothing new here, just a quick review of another of the many frameworks/tools to gauge an organization's (corporation's) adoption of sustainability principles. Maybe It'll be a good reminder.

I've been reviewing Stuart Hart's Capitalism at the Crossroads the past few days and thought the Sustainable Value Portfolio was something worth adding to the fray here. The figure may be hard to see and consists of four segments divided into "today & tomorrow" on the vertical axis and "internal & external" on the horizontal axis. The upper left is Clean Technology, upper right Base of the Pyramid (BoP), lower left Pollution Prevention and lower right Product Stewardship.

I'm not so sure that the upper right is the same (BoP) for all companies, I suppose it depends upon the size and the markets the company/organization serves. It must be said that true BoP efforts do not just treat "the poor" as customers, they are part of the economic value creation exercise, integral to the creation of a venture that benefits them in their geography, keeping capital invested locally.

I'm wagering that the vast majority of companies are in the lower left quadrant (if anywhere), just starting to get their operations in gear to prevent pollution in the first place, driven by risk reduction and operational leaning to shave costs. That's OK, and we have some work to do to get to the upper right quadrant.

1 comment:

curiousdwk said...

Thanks for the post. Although I have seen it (or something like it) before, it has a value that is worth re-visiting. I like the approach of the quadrant like that to describe complex issues. That is so much better than the polar opposites that is so often given when presenting a challenge.