Why Don’t More Companies have Climate Stabilization Intensity Targets?
I have written a number of times before about how I think measurement can undermine sustainability. I had the opportunity to give a presentation on the topic at the State of Green Business Forum in DC a couple of months back.
In the end I touched only briefly on some of the ways that measurement can mislead. It turned out that the guidelines for the presentation were to present one big idea. As I say near the beginning, I didn’t want to present one big gripe, so I focused most of my presentation on BT’s Climate Stabilization Intensity target, which I think is a great example of a measurement and targeting model that doesn’t mislead. Furthermore, it sets a target that is related both to solving the problem and to enabling economic growth. I wrote more about it in this post.
We launched this approach about two years ago now and I have presented it at many conferences and received many compliments for it (on behalf of BT of course) but in that time I am aware of only two companies, Autodesk and EMC, who have done anything similar.
If it is as good an idea as I think it is, why have so few companies followed suit?
I can think of a couple of reasons;
- It is sophisticated, and so harder to explain than an absolute target, or an intensity target related to say revenue – so it doesn’t capture the imagination.
- It has the word ‘intensity’ in it. Intensity targets without any context, can hide a multitude of sins.
I would welcome any other ideas you have on why more companies haven’t gone this route, but please, no solicitation calls – I am on the cheap here and seeking free advice!