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Tactics Vs. Strategy

There is a difference between tactics that support sustainability and an overall corporate strategy that turns a company environmentally friendly.

Giant retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., is working to polish its image by demanding green tactics across its entire supply chain. Even some small manufacturers such as New Belgium Brewing Co., in Fort Collins, Colo., have created C-level positions for sustainability directors. Just as information technology entered the boardroom 10 years ago, green technology pros are finding a seat at the table today.

In a recent report from AMR Research Inc., in Boston, Stephen Stokes, vice president of the firm’s Climate Change Business, has identified the differences between companies that implement green tactics and those that adopt sustainability as a corporate strategy:

Tactical Sustainability

• Sustainability follower
• Highly reactive approach
• Disconnected engagements at corporate margins
• Reporting and compliance/conformance Level
• Defensive brand protection
• Partial competitive advantage
• Business risk defocused
• Anticipating some behaviors and trends

Strategic Sustainability

• Sustainability leader
• Highly proactive approach
• Engagement at business process level
• Voluntary reporting on a range of variables and key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Strategic brand development/product Enhancement
• Substantial competitive advantage
• Business risk minimized
• Anticipating and influencing behaviors and trends
• Efficient energy policy

Related Feature - Sustainable Plants Go Mainstream
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