Sustainable Business Model
By Fred Nichols, Administrator, GraniteCor-New Hampshire Correctional Industries
“Sustainable Business Model” … that term keeps appearing in journals and maybe you have read some of these articles. What is it and should government agencies be thinking about it?
It describes how an organization creates, delivers and captures value in a truly sustainable way; it is the way to deliver commercial success while also being aware of the environment and delivering products and services that improve people’s quality of life.
Part of sustainability as I interpret it seems to say businesses should start weaning out cheap disposable products from their offerings and consumers should stop buying things that tend to “clutter” rather than serve a need.
The challenge for GraniteCor is that it has to do more than add green products before it can claim to have implemented a sustainable business model. So we will be trying to do more than just adding the forthcoming green products:
• Green janitorial chemicals
• Green mattresses made from recycled plastic milk jugs and denim
• Remanufactured and fully warranted ink/ toner cartridges
And, according to the articles, we have to find a way to avoid creeping incrementalism—tweaks here and a spot of product innovation there—and instead make a wholesale transformation of how we business. Here are some of the ways GraniteCor plans to transform into a sustainable model:
• Start to shift our product portfolio by taking the sustainability villains off the shelves and actively promoting the more sustain- able choice. This ensures that our product portfolio begins to reflect our sustainabil- ity policy aspirations.
• Have a clear road map towards sustain- ability so that GraniteCor is less likely to take small steps and instead take trans- formational leaps.
• Innovate everywhere—from product design to service delivery, to internal and external communication, to business strategy planning—innovation is key to delivering our sustainable business model.
• Associate our brand in the minds of customers with something they need, not just want.
“It is a way to deliver commercial success while also being aware of the environment…”