Holly Kaufman, founder and president of Environment & Enterprise Strategies, writes in the EcoInnovator that companies need to take their corporate eco-strategy to the next level.
Kaufman says U.S. corporate sustainability does not embrace “the Precautionary Principle.” She recommends commercial culture and accounting to incorporate the principle. Ignoring the principle, writes Kaufman, is ignoring the human consequences of what we buy and sell, and exposing people to compounds that are harmful to our health. She says that companies that don’t take environmental and human consequences into account are taking financial risks.
Although companies may see waste elimination as a low-hanging fruit, Kaufman says U.S. corporations have “barely scratched the surface” on some sustainable initiatives. She cites the example of escalators in Germany that only run when stepped on, and hotel corridors that are only lit when guests walk in.
Kaufman says American corporations need to embrace “life cycle analysis” and maximum “cradle to grave” integrity, while employing “biomimicry” concepts. She adds that the U.S. economic system should reward activities that enhance sustainability and penalize those that don’t.