Posted tagged ‘Recycling’

Reputation – why it matters and how you can manage it

30/03/2012

“…Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial…”

William Shakespeare Othello. ACT II Scene 3.

There are three dimensions to business success: performance, growth and reputation.  The first two dimensions are tangible, measurable and therefore manageable.  They are the bastions of traditional accounting defined by the elements that make up book value and can be measured by the strength of the balance sheet.  The third dimension, reputation, is different.  It is almost wholly intangible, difficult to measure and therefore very difficult to manage.

And yet, reputation’s value and consequent potential liability is great, almost infinite in some respects.  Whilst book value and traditional accounting is one way of valuing a business, it misses the true value that makes up a business’s intellectual capital – the goodwill that creates the absolute value that is often only realised during a sale but may be severely damaged or enhanced at almost anytime.

In 1980 almost 100 per cent of the value of a company consisted of tangible assets such as chairs, factories and inventory.  That figure is now more like 30 or 40 per cent – the rest comes from intangible value.

Intellectual capital is now recognised as the most critical dimension of success.  High growth and performance are vitally important but equally so is the protection and promotion of reputation.  The problem is that the lack of tangibility makes it a difficult proposition for people to understand.

In my consultancy we work with complex organisations to help them realise their intellectual capital value through the promotion and protection of their reputation.  One of the surest indicators to us is how responsible a business in terms of its environmental, social and (corporate) governance (ESG).

A great indicator of high ESG performance is often seen through the way a business treats waste either as a cost or rather as a resource to be managed.  Lee Petts from Remsol talks about every pound saved in waste being a pound added to the bottom line.  I would go further in saying that it is also value in terms of intellectual capital.

So, waste management should be a high business priority not just in terms of its ‘green’ aspects but in the real difference it makes to overall value. Integrating waste management and environmental performance into overall business strategy and then ensuring efforts are made to leverage that in terms of communication is the way to promote reputation and increase value.

My favourite quote in terms of judging reputation is ‘actions speak louder than words’ and maybe in realising why reputation matters in terms of waste management its worth adding another old saying: ‘where there’s muck there’s brass!’

Nick Taylor is the owner of Bodyproject and the creator of the Advanced Stakeholder Management methodology that helps organisations promote and protect reputation call 0151 709 2288 or e-mail nicktaylor@bodyproject.co.uk

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Turning waste into a resource

09/10/2010

“…As the public spending cuts continue to dominate the headlines it is inevitable that councils will be battening down the hatches and prioritising when and where money is allocated…Cost cutting and green agendas can of course work in tandem…It stands to reason that using fewer resources saves money…”

Daniel Rankine – Public Service Events “Sustainable Scotland- Establishing a greener future”

October is dominated by the economy.  Words like deficit, austerity and cuts are scattered around like confetti.  But to me the month has been dominated by another word – that of environment.

This is because I am working with a client who specialises in waste management and I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in some of the biggest issues facing our society and the planet as a whole.  The waste we leave behind is beyond belief, our attitudes at best ‘laissez faire’ at worse reckless and irresponsible.  But, there is hope, I have had the chance this month to meet some of the people who are at the forefront of trying to ensure that our waste is dealt with and turned into a resource.

Environmental Waste Controls Ltd are a business based just outside Liverpool and they are completely obsessed with taking people’s waste and reducing the environmental and economic impact.  Many of their competitors are national and international players who are being contracted by city authorities such as Liverpool and Manchester but who cannot match their performance.

I had the chance to visit one of the sites they operate for Warrington Council and see why they are achieving some of the best recycling targets in the country and why they are outstripping their competitors.  At the site you notice one thing above all else and that is the people working there.  They are literally high visibility, and not just due to their safety clothing.  They are passionate about recycling and from the gate you are guided and helped to sort and sift and recycle your waste.  As a result they achieve targets of at least 85% of all items going to recycling.  This is an incredible result and they are trying to increase this and in some parts of the country are hitting as high as 95%.  Many of their competitors are at half this total.  Every employee is incentivised to earn based on this target and waste is seen as a resource for reuse or recycling.  They also go further seeing public education as their duty.  And, they hate landfill with a vengeance unlike some of their competitors who are compromised operating both recycling centres and landfill sites.

So why is that some authorities like Warrington are enlightened and others like Liverpool and Manchester are appointing companies that also operate landfill sites and are not totally incentivised around recycling.  Well guess what – money is the answer.  There is a perversity in the economic targets.  There is a real danger that this month’s theme of the economy and this cutting obsession will harm public services but worse than that it will harm our natural environment.

Of course the Government has set a target to be a zero waste economy, but whilst public sector procurement is driven by cost and austerity, there is a dilemma.

Companies like Environmental Waste Controls are leading the way and they deserve all our support.

I suggest you take a look:  http://ewc.eu.com/