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Who's in the Video
Amit Chatterjee is chief executive officer and founder of Hara Software. Prior to founding Hara he led SAP’s fast-growing Governance, Risk and Compliance unit, increasing revenues from $30 million to[…]

Organizations need to reconsider all of the waste and energy consumption associated with their business—while still keeping profits in mind.

Question: What incentives are there for companies to work rntoward sustainability? 

Amit Chatterjee: For rnpublic companies, their primary driver today is still shareholder value.rn Meaning that they’re going to look for profits and they’re going to tryrn to identify ways to maximize their environment or their energy rnconsumption so that it still impacts shareholder value. We call this rnactually something called "organizational metabolism."

OMI is rnvery similar to BMI, right? Your Body Mass Index. The notion that you rnhave height as a constraint, because you can’t grow any taller once you rnsort of mature age-wise, but your at a weight point, and that weight canrn either be something where—ideal weight or can be something where you’d rnbe a little bit above ideal weight. Right? There are five things you canrn do to sort of help drive down value—or drive down your weight. Right? rnIt’s change your diet, exercise, do weightlifting, take diet pills, rnpotentially do liposuction. Right? 

Each of those different rnaspects of weight management come with a certain cost as well as a rncertain amount of timeframe. Right? To eat right and exercise everyday, rnusually takes nine to 12 months for you to get to the weight that you rnwant. If you do liposuction, it’s an in and out procedure, right, in rnnine hours. Costs are different, timeframe is different. The same thing rnholds true for organizations. When they think about organizational rnmetabolism index, they have to think about all the energy waste, or I rnsay the energy that comes into the organization, the water that comes rninto the organization, and more importantly, all the raw materials that rncome into the organization and identify a balance and say, "To what rnextent is all of this coming in, can I actually lessen it, or green, or rnchange the actual consumption that I have of that particular aspect and rnlower my greenhouse gas footprint, lower my wastewater, or lower my rnsolid waste?" All of this with a profit mentality in mind. 

So asrn a result, organizations try to go after this in a meaningful way rnwithout having to necessarily compromise their profit motive, but still rnbe able to drive shareholder value. It is always important to note, rnthough, that there are three main drivers. Right? Number one is cost rnsavings, number two is brand equity, and number three is what we call rn"risk mitigation." The notion that, "If I run out of a particular raw rnmaterial that I’m dependent on, what happens to my business?" And that rnforces organizations to start to rethink in a post-carbon economy rnmindset, how do I change what I do so that if rice runs out, how do I rnstill run a Thai restaurant or an Indian restaurant that’s dependent on rnrice? 
Recorded on May 19, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman