The committee feels that the ideal metric, or suite of metrics, will need to have distinct and clear meaning as it points the way toward the goals of increased industrial efficiency and profitability and environmental sustainability. It is the ambitious intent of this report to provide some insight into how an industry might measure progress toward evolving environmental goals both society's and its own through the development and use of improved environmental performance metrics. The measurement of industrial environmental performance is stimulating considerable global interest.
A number of efforts under way nationally and internationally are examining the issue.
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This effort differs from others in two key regards. First, it is an industry-centered study involving a committee primarily composed of professionals with corporate and manufacturing experience. As a result, the report may address environmental performance issues from a perspective that is different than that of many other studies. Second, in an attempt to provide more in-depth analysis rather than general commentary, this effort focuses on only four major manufacturing industries automotive, chemical, electronics, and pulp and paper.
While a review of many sectors, such as the service industry, is notably absent in this report, the sectors the committee did examine in combination represent a significant portion of U. In addition to their size,. Operations within the selected industries combine to span the full spectrum of product life cycle, as well as a wide range of market niches e.
These sectors may therefore be taken as somewhat representative of large-scale U. Because another objective of this project was the dissemination of U. Chapter 2 provides an introduction to industrial environmental performance metrics and the decisions they are intended to support. Also included is a discussion of the individual metric characteristics that companies, as well as commercial and public stakeholders, have found most useful. Chapters 3 — 7 contain an introduction and detailed case studies describing the past and present experiences of the four targeted industries.
Chapters 8 — 10 review U. Chapter 11 explores some of the long-term issues facing industry as it prepares to address expected future demands from the public for better environmental information. In this analysis, emphasis is on describing environmental performance metrics in terms of their links to related corporate goals identified by the committee.
There is some discussion of how these goals are changing. Finally, Chapter 12 contains the committee's conclusions and recommendations. Banks, R. Green costs and benefits.
New York Times. July 9, Science Section. Bureau of the Census. Statistical Abstract of the United States.
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Clarke, R. The challenge of going green. Harvard Business Review 72 4 — Deutsch, C. For Wall Street, increasing evidence that green begets green. July 19, Business Section, p. Dingell, J. The environment and the economy: Striking a delicate balance. Ditz, D. Ranganathan, and R. Epstein, M. Chicago: Irwin Professional Publishing. Esty, D. Industrial ecology and competitiveness: Strategic implications for the firm. Journal of Industrial Ecology 2 1 — Fischer, K. Schot, eds.
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Harvard Business Review 73 5 Rappaport, A. Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Recent years have seen a proliferation in both the amount and type of environmental reporting done by industry. Seventy-one percent of companies surveyed made some mention of the environment in their annual report, up from 58 percent in The proportion of companies producing separate environmental reports rose from 15 percent in to 24 percent in Figure A Forty-one percent of U.
The topics covered by industry environmental reports were generally weighted toward the traditional concerns of emissions and compliance Figure A However, some movement toward ecoefficiency was evident in terms of the emphasis some firms gave to natural resource conservation. In a further indication of more visionary behavior, the concept of sustainable development was mentioned in some reports.
Increased attention given to such issues as waste management, energy conservation, supplier performance, and product design when discussing future goals indicates that a number of companies have begun to move beyond compliance as the sole motivation for improving environmental performance Figure A While all of these topics were mentioned in company reports, quantifiable measures of performance in these areas are still somewhat sparse. Of those companies producing separate environmental reports, 87 percent disclosed quantitative environmental performance data.
Disclosures of most such data were weighted primarily toward emissions, but attention was also. Total number of annual reports and number of reports that mention the environment, by industry sector. Total number of annual reports and number of reports that mention the environment, by country. Percent of companies producing separate environmental reports, by industry sector.
Percent of companies producing separate environmental reports, by country. Content of company environmental reports that address specific environmental topics. Percent of environmental reports that discuss future plans and targets, by topic. The disclosure of quantitative information by international respondents in the KPMG survey can be compared with that of U. The attention given to environmental expenditures in both surveys demonstrates a growing awareness of these costs and a move away from the common practice of simply lumping them in with overhead expenses. Such awareness may indicate the first steps toward more comprehensive assessment of both the costs and benefits associated with environmental programs and capital investments.
It is also interesting to note that almost half 42 percent of U. Percent of annual reports that disclose quantitative environmental data, by type.
Moving to metrics: Opportunities and challenges of performance-based sustainability standards
Industrial Environmental Performance Metrics is a corporate-focused analysis that brings clarity and practicality to the complex issues of environmental metrics in industry. The book examines the metrics implications to businesses as their responsibilities expand beyond the factory gate--upstream to suppliers and downstream to products and services. It examines implications that arise from greater demand for comparability of metrics among businesses by the investment community and environmental interest groups.
The controversy over what sustainable development means for businesses is also addressed. Industrial Environmental Performance Metrics identifies the most useful metrics based on case studies from four industries--automotive, chemical, electronics, and pulp and paper--and includes specific corporate examples. It contains goals and recommendations for public and private sector players interested in encouraging the broader use of metrics to improve industrial environmental performance and those interested in addressing the tough issues of prioritization, weighting of metrics for meaningful comparability, and the longer term metrics needs presented by sustainable development.
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