We talk to Bob Cotton OBE on how climate change impacts on businesses.
There’s no denying Brexit is a key concern for anyone in business. The political shambles over the past three years has produced a climate of uncertainty. It began with delays in investment decisions but this fear of an unclear future has now spread to the consumer, producing the most ambiguous business climate for a generation.
I have no doubt, in twenty years’ time, when we look back, Brexit will be seen but as a “blip”, like the miners’ strike, or the financial crash of 2008.
The real challenge of our time both now and into the future is Climate Change. How it is impacting our business, how it is changing consumer attitudes and spending patterns, and how it is shaping society as a whole.
The first issue to face up to is that we are all members of society. Business has a key role to play in how it progresses. We should remember we are not isolated from it.
Secondly, we must realise that whilst governments can take some decisions, set new rules and regulations, it is consumers who wield the biggest power.
When people collectively change attitudes and spending power, this is a much more effective driver for change than any government regulations.
Wise companies recognise this power. Changing practices across the whole of their business to adapt is the only way ahead.
These changes should include a review of all supply chains and the practices of suppliers, use of energy, water and scarce resources, working towards carbon neutral targets, and particularly the use of plastics and non-biodegradable products.
P&G Professional (the away-from-home division of Procter & Gamble), is aware of the total environmental impact of cleaning products from raw materials to waste disposal, and so believes that green starts with clean. That’s why it designs superior cleaning solutions with circular packaging, reducing environmental footprint. Not only are all P&G Professional products made in plants powered by 100% renewable wind-power electricity with zero manufacturing waste going to landfill, P&G Professional products in manual laundry, fabric softener, hand dishwashing and surface care are made of recyclable packaging*.
Water and energy consumption in the usage phase of cleaning products impacts the environment nine times more than raw materials or manufacturing. With this focus on total life cycle, P&G Professional’s innovative products and systems are simple to use, streamlining cleaning practices and use of scarce resources like water, to get the job done right first time.
The success of any good business lies in developing a long-term partnership with its customers. Businesses is not about short-term “rip-offs” but developing a successful long-term relationship whereby customers are so satisfied they want to return again and again.
It is these long-term, loyal, repeat customers that guarantee a successful business that is profitable and able to re-invest in people and product.
Those that navigate the environmental challenges ahead and move in partnership with suppliers, staff and customers will be the ones that succeed in this challenge of our time.
Bob Cotton OBE, has spent a lifetime in the hospitality industry and is a member of P&G Professional’s Expert Advisory Council.