Sometimes it requires a fresh perspective, expert insight or creative spark to meet ambitious sustainability goals or tackle material issues. That’s why many companies today are embracing corporate responsibility and enlisting some interesting allies along the way.
Companies across the world are inviting partners to help solve some of their toughest business issues. On Sustainable Life Media, Bart King recently cited two examples of inventive collaboration. McDonald’s and Target* enlisted the help of the Environmental Defense Fund’s “Climate Corps” – a group of MBA and MPA fellows who work with individual organizations to unlock energy efficiency savings. Altogether, the group was able to identify $650 million in savings for 78 participating companies, cities and universities. Anheuser-Busch formed a strategic alliance with another company, General Electric, to provide expertise in cutting emissions at its facilities in China. A cross-company “innovation team” is currently tackling issues head-on at one plant and is slated to implement improvements across the region. Nike is even foraying into venture capital in order to spark some new ideas in alternative energy usage and manufacturing efficiency. Olga Kharif and Matt Townsend of Bloomberg Business Week recently interviewed John Taylor, head of research for the National Venture Capital Association, who explained, “With research budgets getting cut, a wider range of companies are now looking to startups to help them maintain their innovation.”
Companies today face incredible pressure from stakeholders to tackle tough sustainability issues. Consumers, employees, investors, activists, customers and others expect to see progress – but fortunately, none are saying companies must achieve it alone.