Zero is the new Infinity


In fashion, it was once said that brown is the new black.

Here at EarthPM, we say that green is the new black – but we’re not fashion experts.

What we have learned a lot about, however, is the fact that reducing waste in projects – and in ongoing operations – and getting closer to zero waste – can have an infinite number of benefits for the organization (nevermind the environment), and it’s from this fact that we drew the name of this posting.

With this posting we’d like to point you to a particular blog entry from Andrew Winston’s great resource: “Finding the Gold in Green“.   The posting to which we direct you is about Sony and their efforts to get to a zero carbon footprint by 2050.

Here’s the press release from Sony about their “Road to Zero” program.

More importantly, and more interestingly, Sony’s actual Road to Zero site is worth surfing.  You’ll see many of the themes from our book threaded through the animations and details of their plan.  This reaffirms our idea that project management is (amongst other things) a microcosm of general business, and the advice and leadership shown by Andrew Winston and Sony with regards to business operations and the gold to be mined in green applies to project management and vice versa – a feedback loop of infinite benefit.

For your convenience, we put an extract of Sony’s press release below so you can see how they’re targeting their reductions to zero.

“Targets are based on four environmental perspectives – climate change, resource conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity – across all product lifecycle stages, from research and development to recycling. The mid-term targets will be implemented globally across the Sony Group beginning in fiscal year 2011 (April 2011), and will extend through the end of fiscal year 2015 (March 2016), at which time new targets for the following 5 years will be set.

Specific mid-term targets include:

  • 30% reduction in annual energy consumption of products (compared to fiscal 2008)
  • 10% reduction in product mass (compared to fiscal 2008)
  • 50% absolute reduction in waste generation (compared to fiscal 2000)
  • 30% absolute reduction in water consumption (compared to fiscal 2000)
  • 14% reduction in total CO2 emissions associated with all transportation and logistics (compared to fiscal 2008)
  • 16% reduction in incoming parts packaging waste (compared to fiscal 2008)
  • Increase of waste recycle ratio to 99% or more
  • 5% reduction in utilization ratio of virgin oil-based plastics in products (compared to fiscal 2008)
  • Assessment of impact of resource procurement and facility construction on biodiversity, and promotion of biodiversity programs such as groundwater cultivation
  • Minimization of the risk of chemical substances through preventive measures; reduction in use of specific chemicals defined by Sony; and promotion of use of alternative materials”

The bottom line here is the bottom line.

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