Steve Burt is the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, founder and original investor in EQi Group. Steve has spent the past 14 years working with economics data relating to sustainability value, P&L resiliency and investor risk. Steve has used his 25 plus years experience in data acquisition, analysis, visualisation management analytics and operational applications to shape business methods in sustainability application. He has focused on increasing value and long term profitability and talks to Blue & Green about how he is doing that wit EQi Group.
In 140 characters or less – what is EQi?
EQi is a data and technology company providing business intelligence to increase economic performance, ecological balance and social compatibility.
What was the driver for creating EQi – what gap did it fill?
I founded EQi to provide businesses teams with trusted economic indicators and analysis tools that could accurately translate the economics of sustainability. I wanted to empower businesses at every level to use their operating data to develop individual sustainability strategies by understanding their own particular profit & loss material risks.
A key driver was to integrate economic performance with ecological and social impact management to start building a more inclusive economic approach to our current business model. I strongly believe that we need to provide companies, their customers and their investors with quantification processes to make informed decisions.
Today, sustainability has been dominated by compliance and marketing perspectives, completely missing the opportunity to create and drive value through creating lean and efficient business operations. I created EQi to change that misdirection so that sustainability can be understood and used for economic profitability while maintaining ecological balance and social compatibility.
Over the past 15 years I have seen more and more executive teams seek to understand sustainability and what it means in financial terms and the effects to their business. However, to-date executive teams have found it either impossible, highly time consuming or very expensive answer their normal business questions. The primary aim of EQi is to give executive teams the tools to do their job.
Business teams face three pain points, 1) Acquiring the relevant data, 2) Ensuring the data is accurate and relevant and 3) Easily turning the data into information. EQi addresses these three data pain points with evolution®, the first resource efficiency planning exchange.
We neutralise the data pain points by accommodating the challenge of multiple IT systems, departmental silos and global supply chains in a single exchange with seamless and secure multi stakeholder interface. With one single record evolution tracks not only all the different relevant metrics, but also integrates the many different stakeholders involved (suppliers, etc.), letting each extract the pertinent information for their role.
We eliminate transparency gaps, data blockages and cost blind spots throughout a supply chain, exposing the risks a company could face, where they could originate, and highlighting the possible resource efficiency improvements that could drive sustainable innovation and long term profit growth. We created one record and one truth so that an entire value chain can participate in a shared value process to benefit every stakeholder.
Who is it primarily for?
evolution is for every business that seeks to improve their resource efficiency management processes and reduce operating risk. It is designed for all size businesses to use as needed, turnkey, regardless of size, expertise or legacy systems. evolution provides the shared value process that connects global organisations and micro businesses for mutual benefit.
We at EQi are passionate about building an inclusive business society, which benefits all its stakeholders, that empowers micro businesses to build resilient operations as part of the global value chain. It’s time to provide a true value chain where everyone engages in providing customer satisfaction as one team, shared value process in action.
We strongly believe it is time that we make it easy for businesses throughout a value chain to share information and create an integrated reporting approach which informs every stakeholder. EQi offers the integrated value chain reporting solution.
What difference does EQi want it to make?
Our vision is to make it easy for businesses to identify their value creation opportunities and drive innovative thinking to drive the next level of business efficiency and sustained profitability.
What are the barriers to making that difference?
The main task is to change the current conversation from one which uses the current definition of ‘sustainability’ (i.e., conversations that centre around compliance and reporting) to one that centres around democratising information and shared value and considers a socially/ecologically balanced approach to business.
One barrier is the challenge of easily and cost effectively acquiring the relevant data a business team needs to make operating decisions that drive efficiency. A second barrier is the lack of transparency throughout supply and value chains. Another barrier is corporate culture and behaviour. The last barrier is the most difficult to address but the most powerful once changed.
Who’s helping you overcome those barriers?
I have met many people over the years that are passionate about helping business to change however in recent years a few people come to mind who I applaud.
They are people in prominent positions who are taking the lead on the world stage, such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilver; Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO PepsiCo; Marc Boland, CEO of Marks & Spencer; Sir Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher; Jochen Zeitz, Director of Kering and Chairman of the board’s sustainable development committee, and Co-Founder and Co-Chair of The B Team; Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute; Rachel Kyte, Head of Climate Change at the World Bank; Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to name a but a few.
The more business leaders who demonstrate how being sustainable brings increased profit performance and how holistic strategies to managing a company make a business stronger, the more the more hesitant adaptors will follow. The investment community also has a big part to play. It is encouraging that impact investors are fast growing along with main stream global financial institutions, stepping up to the challenge of funding sustainable growth.
It’s not just people but also publications such as Blue & Green Tomorrow, The Guardian, GreenBiz and Triple Pundit along with organisations such as Sustainable Brands playing an important role. I have started a conversation about business change and idea sharing on LinkedIn which is attracting people who wish to share practical ideas and build an inclusive business process.
When business leaders understand sustainability and can measure it as a core part of a business performance we will see sustainable brands building sustainable profits and creating a sustainable future for our planet.
Is company action today commensurate with the massive economic, social and environmental challenges we face?
The business community is starting to develop conversations about the future of our society and how it will be structured. However we are against a climate clock, which is ticking. The problem is we still don’t understand how fast the climate is changing and hence how quickly we need to act.
Business are truly in a tough position since they need to maintain financial performance to satisfy the markets while calculating how much investment should be made in which change and how quickly. I would honestly state I fear business is behind the curve; hence I believe the pace of change to sustainable operating models needs to increase.
The challenges we face are enormous. We as a society will only be able to master these challenges if all stakeholders become part of the solution. I believe the common dominator is accurate, verified and trusted data that can be turned into information everyone can understand. We don’t need gurus or big gestures, we need democratised information that society can make honest decisions with, that consumers can use to purchase with confidence and that drives economic stability, ecological balance and supports social compatibility.
Sustainability is not just about low carbon or diluting modernisation, it’s about smart consumption, long term profitability and business resiliency.
How can people – individuals and organisations – find out more about EQi?
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”