“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. Taken from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” , the author describes a man dying of thirst surrounded by a sea of water. This text, in many ways, describes one on the major challenges facing the world today. Beyond simply having access to water, the ability to effectively manage this precious resource will be essential for long-term global sustainability. Governments, businesses, and individuals around the world are recognizing the relationships of water to long term sustainability. Clean, fresh, and ‘usable’ water is no longer just an issue for developing countries. It has become a global social and business sustainability issue. Water is linked to every facet of life on our planet and directly interacts with a myriad of sustainability concepts. Focusing specifically on the unique energy/water relationship, our professional consulting discusses this critical link in a recent post. In many ways water, rather than energy production challenges, will be the focus for many in the future. • Water and energy are essential to every aspect of life: social equity, ecosystem integrity, economic and business sustainability. • Water is used to generate energy; energy is used to provide water. • Water and energy are used to produce crops; crops can in turn be used to generate energy through biofuels. As a sustainability consultants, we explore the full stream of sustainability. Water management, like all sustainability concepts, is a continuous and all-inclusive process. Providing abundant clean water will require efforts from all angles, and both large scale and individual water cycle management.
Each business has its own unique relationship with its supply chain. Some relationships are stronger than others; therefore, the drivers to implement change can be quite different from one organization to the next. However, our business sustainability consulting experience has shown that every supply chain can benefit from greater visibility. The recent drive to incorporate ‘Sustainability’ into Supply Chain Management has inspired companies to reexamine their internal and external processes. Progressive organizations, like Wal-Mart and IBM, are evaluating their procurement, sourcing and supplier management from a new perspective to create additional value. But as we have discussed, not everyone sees the world from the same perspective as a Wal-Mart or IBM. Incorporating sustainability concepts into business relationships creates, at a minimum, line of sight across the value chain. This visibility provides a path to the greater value of alignment and engagement. The sustainability concept of ‘Alignment’ and its impact on the supply chain is well documented. Creating alignment across the value chain can improve operational efficiency, reduce cost, and add value. Examples include: • Internal Business Processes: Corporate goals focused on the process improvements which promote and enable a sustainable supply chain. • Employee Engagement: Individual and organizational performance metrics which support corporate business sustainability goals • Customer Expectations: Sustainable product expectations clearly communicated down the supply chain. • Supplier Integration: Creating integrated processes with supplier to improve communication, increase efficiency, and ensure common sustainable processes. • Learning and Growth: Create working relationships that promote change, innovation, and growth across the supply chain. Customers and suppliers grow and develop with your business. • Financial Balance: Allowing all partners the ability to succeed financially creates a stable business environment and an aligned business sustainability direction. Creating SCM alignment through increased eco awareness, applied sustainability concepts or a fully integrated sustainable supply chain can have immediate business impacts. Our professional consulting and small business resources provide guidance to companies seeking to make significant changes in their operations.
I traveled 15 hours to get to the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Where did I come from? New York City. Was that insane?
What drove me to sit in Holland Tunnel traffic for 2 hours on a Friday night and crawl down the New Jersey Turnpike was probably the same thing everyone else en route was motivated by: Passion! A passion for having our voices heard, a passion for making the statement that our country is not controlled by extremists or haters, a passion for openly declaring our love for country, freedom, mutual tolerance and our way of life. These were the lovers that went down to our nation’s capital. By all accounts, more than two hundred thousand people attended the “Rally for Sanity and/or Fear”—twice the amount that showed up for Glenn Beck’s rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August. It was good to know that more people attended an anti-hate rally than a pro-hate one.
One of the most interesting aspects of the amazing turnout was its intergenerational quality. Twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings filled the overcrowded Metro and the National Mall. Some said they were liberals; others called themselves conservatives. Many said they were “moderates” not confined to labels. All were voicing their protest simply by their presence to the heated and empty vitriol currently favored by politicians and pundits. In Jon Stewart’s moving closing speech, he echoed this theme:
Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives.
How do Americans live their lives? He continued in his usual deadpan style:
Americans live their lives just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often something they do not want to do. But they do it. Impossible things that are only made possible by the little reasonable compromises we all make.
It was the “reasonableness” of ordinary people that Stewart and fellow funnyman Stephen Colbert emphasized.