Corporations working together? Sounds counterintuitive, but that’s exactly what this vnunet.com article says is happening, especially when it comes to sustainability. According to Paul Simpson of the Carbon Disclosure Project, they’re working together because they know they have a lot to learn regarding sustainability, and many heads are better than one if they are “to avoid the climate change induced depression the Stern Review predicted.”
Companies, therefore, have banded together in such groups as the CDP and Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change. According to the article, though, what’s surprising is how muchinformation the companies are sharing information. For instance, to green up its corporate travel booking service, BT recently borrowed a technique from Cisco.
The benefits of such sharing are offensive and defensive, according to Craig Bennett, facilitator of the CLGCC. “If you develop best practices together,” he said, “when environmental regulations do come in they are more likely to mirror those best practices than make onerous demands on the companies involved.” And for defense, he notes there is less risk for a company moving with a large group, rather than alone, towards greener practices and products.
The article singles out IBM and its EcoPatent program as an unusually extreme example of corporate cooperation. But it also notes that all this sharing has its limits. Much of the collaboration thus far has tended to be between companies from different sectors.