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I am an honours graduate (BSc. Hons. Strath-Glasgow) coupled with an MBA-ICG (Paris) , experienced, Metallurgist - Materials Scientist and Engineer & Manager turned Consultant & Blogger. I specialised in Superalloys (aero-engine_Seminal Work peer reviewed & published IOM3_MST, Feb.1985, the 2nd issue of this now well known journal dedicated to the fundamental aspects in our multidisciplinary subject area ) My experience over a wide range of Special Alloys is extensive. (Cryogenic,Controlled Expansion-Dilatometric,Magnetic, Corrosion Resistant Grades and finally HSLA-Aircraft Undercarriage. (Great Stuff-I was lucky) My responibilities were especially in Melting & Refining to 1st Forming stage. Responsibilities include QC,QA & Accounting, Melt/Remelt Process  & Products, R&D.  Bilingual English-French. 
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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Why CFOs Are Skeptical About Sustainability? - Answer: They don't know about Factor 10 Institute

"To a great extent — and unfortunately — “sustainability” is a quality that exists in the mind of the beholder is the opener for David M. Katz  article in CFO webzine. David is editor-in-chief of CFO Online/Mobile.

While the complete aruement may be read in the references 1.  CFO's  I shall choose a few excerpts for the sake of argument.

"While any good finance executive will focus first on the costs and revenue opportunities in proposed energy-saving plants, the risks and benefits to company employees and external society will be squarely on his or her radar, because they potentially affect the company’s brand reputation. 
But doing good deeds is and should be the gravy (not the meat") in this discussion. The corporation, by its very nature, needs to benefit from any sustainability effort to go ahead with it and be motivated to succeed at it. Self-interest needs to be the prime driver, and the extent of self-interest needs to be benchmarked.

Of course, there are sweet spots where what’s good for the planet melds seamlessly with what’s good for the bottom line." he concedes.  For example, he mentions one company which by changing its energy consumption helped cut its costs. (He doesn't tell us what type of change -mean of him don't you feel? or is it a trade secret to strive to lower the energy bill, and let me add to increase material savings - The Material Productivity )

He rightly concludes (with some ignorance that all activity can be described in terms of Carbon Footprint which admittedly may be a far too global metric to put into practise and monetary value savings and gains.

"The reason for this is that for corporations, metrics for sustainability — in particular the environmental kind — amount to just so much greenwash. There are few environmentally based metrics to match the financial metrics most corporations run on.

For example, while measuring a company’s “carbon footprint” may be a good way to prove how good a corporate citizen it is, it addresses finance only tangentially — perhaps by increasing sales among environmentalists, or making it less a target of lawsuits. But really, what does a carbon footprint have to do with an income statement, balance sheet, or cash-flow statement?

The challenge of sustainability at the corporate level is to find a way to answer that question in hard, numeric, provable ways that take into account the self-interest so basic to our free-enterprise system. Then, if the metrics are there, the incentives needed for productive action will be too."

REF 1. Full Article CFO.com (http://s.tt/1jQsf) 

An  this is where Factor 10 Institute comes in 

The Factor10 Institute 2008

The Factor 10 Institute has been created to provide practical support for achieving significant advances in resource productivity in the production and consumption sectors through:
  • The design of eco-efficient logistic systems, processes, and services;
  • The development of dematerialized products, services, buildings, and infrastructures with high resource productivity;
  • Appropriate marketing strategies, maintenance, recycling and disposal of goods;
  • Enhancing consumer information on the environmental quality of products and services;
  • The creation and performance of research and development plans;
  • Offering seminars for firms, politicians and other interested people, giving practical advice for implementing the Factor 10 and the MIPS-concepts at home, in the public domain, in firms, and in governments;
  • Small scale seminars for political and business leaders to identify long-term sustainable economic options;
  • Forging coalitions among international initiatives for practical approaches toward sustainability, such as The Natural Step, Sweden, the Zero Emission Forum, Japan, The Environmental Footprint, USA, and the Dutch Sustainable Technology Program.
The Factor 10 Institute takes particular interest in questions relating to the increase in employment and the sustainable financing of governments. It also provides services to the international Factor 10 Club.
cf also