Inspired Business

Here is my latest project, helping social entrepreneurs increase their impact. I am working on with some really cool people.


Saves $10 Million on 850K Energy Investment

Energy reduction is not as difficult as we initially believe it will be. Our mental models are a bigger problem than getting it done.

As part of the part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now LEADER Initiative, Volvo Truck’s New River Valley plant set a 10 year goal to reduce energy intensity by 25% over ten years.

Not only did they exceed the target in a just one year, but they did it in a way that pays huge financial dividends.

The investment in energy efficiency cost about $850,000 and will save approximately $2 million per year according to the Department of Energy. Assuming a very conservative 5 year lifespan of the improvements they will see a total of $10 million in savings over that period. That is an annualized ROI of 215% and a total project ROI of 1,077%. Those are numbers any CFO can be happy with.

According an blog post “The NRV plant also initiated a contest to promote employee engagement in identifying and suggesting ways for the facility to improve its energy efficiency. From late 2009 to early 2010, the implementation of employee-suggested projects saved the NRV plant more than 546,543 kilowatt hours per month, which translates to approximately $33,000 in monthly cost savings.”

Significant energy risk and cost reduction are closer than you think. The sooner we take off the blinders of our embedded mental models the sooner we can start enjoying the benefits.


Sustainable Companies Stocks Outperform the Competition

Companies striving for sustainable outcomes outperform their competition in nearly every financial measure. And most importantly in this case, stock performance. Canadian publisher Corporate Knights recently published its 8th annual list of “100 Most Sustainable Companies.” According to the Corporate Knights Global 100 website: The graph below measures the monthly total return of the Global 100 and […]

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High ROI on Sustainability

Again, proof by the biggest capitalists that sustainability pays big ROI. Bloomberg just produced its third sustainability report. This is the first one to be made public. My favorite highlight is that for every $1 spent on sustainability they have seen $2 in savings in operating costs, which goes directly to the bottom line profit. […]

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Compliance is cheap

Business estimates to comply with the clean air act of 1990 to reduce acid rain put the prospective compliance cost at up to $1,500 per ton. Over the first 10 years the price per ton NEVER went above $200 and the mean and average costs were significantly less* The laggards in the US Chamber of […]

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The Results of Efficiency

The Las Vegas Sun reported today that the electric utility NV Energy is seeking a rate increase because efficiency programs are working and therefore people are using less energy and decreasing revenues. In any other commercial venture, a decrease in output means the supplier uses less raw material. They mistakenly overestimated demand and built too […]

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Bringing IT Jobs Back to US Shores

See how this socially conscious company is bringing IT jobs back to the US. Doing well while doing good.

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Eric Lowitt, Author of “The Future of Value”

In today’s podcast we hear a great story from Eric Lowitt about how he is following his dreams and helping move sustainability forward in the business sector. I can’t wait to get my hands on his new book “The Future of Value” when it comes out in late September. Eric has a passion for sustainability […]

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100% Sustainable Sourcing by 2020

I recently wrote an article for IBS America that shows how Unilever plans to execute 100% sustainable sourcing by 2020. Why are they doing it? To save money and reduce risk. How will they do it? By requiring suppliers to meet recognized sustainability and environmental standards. Implementing management systems to track, improve and report are […]

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The Paradox of Power in Sustainability

As a society we often say terms like “business wants (fill in the blank here).” Saying “business” wants one thing is like saying all Italian-Americans want one thing or all men want the same thing. There are lots of businesses with lots of leaders who see the world through all kinds of lenses. Over the last […]

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