Louis Roy


Carbon Footprint: What If We Knew the Impact of Our Businesses?

By Louis Roy, President of OPTEL GROUP

The pressure is on as facts are starting to prove that human activity does indeed have a significant impact on our climate and environment. As sea levels and temperatures continue to rise, soils are degrading, and ground water is increasingly polluted or disappearing, some of us can’t help but feel powerless before this reality.

What can corporations do and, even more importantly, what can individuals do to improve this situation? We all go about our daily lives, working hard to increase shareholder value and ensure the well-being of our families while thinking that as mere individuals we have little impact.

Yet we all play a part in the butterfly effect: a single, particular event that can have huge effects, such as change the course of a hurricane.

Even small changes can create major transformation, like the invention of electricity, the first iPhone, or a garage-made social platform now influencing billions and modeling government.

The butterfly effect can also be demonstrated by very simple systems. For example, the randomness of throwing dice is dependent on this exact characteristic; that is, amplifying small differences in initial conditions—the precise direction, thrust, and orientation of the throw—will lead to significantly different dice paths and outcomes, which makes it virtually impossible to throw a dice exactly the same way twice.

So yes, the actions of individuals could change the path of humanity and hopefully minimize the risks for our planet and our children.

As corporations, we have even more power to influence change. A company is always created based on a simple idea, a desire, and determination. It is the strength of this will that can totally transform your company as well as the mindset of your people. If your will is for your company to reduce its burden on our ecosystem, you can make it happen—just start small and keep this focus, the impact will be enormous.

In the 1980s, we had a linear economy; it was easy. Demand was so high that the need for optimization was not important. Shareholders were happy with the growth and we were blind to the environmental impact of our operations.

In the new millenium, globalization created a pressure to increase performance, so we started optimizing with lean methods, reducing errors and waste throughout the manufacturing process, but shareholder pressure still prevented us from fully noticing that our ecosystem was gradually being destroyed.

Now, in many industries, most competitors have already done Kaizen and 5S, and the incumbents are not the only black belts anymore. And, as a society, many of us don’t feel good about the impact we’ve had on our environment over the years.

However, shareholders keep asking for more, so what should we do? What if we could offer them the retirement of their dreams as well as the dignity that goes with doing something good for our planet?

Your company can be part of this shift in mindset by becoming a black belt in what is known as the INTELLIGENT SUPPLY CHAIN. This is intelligence that will reduce waste, minimize inefficacies, save energy, lower our carbon footprint and most importantly for your business, help understand your customers with real business intelligence in real time.

Contrary to popular belief, profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Even in public corporations, these two notions can be combined to create untapped shareholder value, as an intelligent supply chain serves both financial and environmental purposes that will help keep customers’ businesses alive in the long-term. This is real sustainability.

So l hope you will join me in building this intelligent supply chain and, together, we will have the strength and will to offer the gift of sustainability and make it a reality, for our children and for shareholders’ children.

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