The Global Environmental Manage-ment
Initiative (GEMI) is an organization of leading companies dedicated
to fostering global environmental, health and safety (EHS) excellence
through the sharing of tools and information to help business achieve
EHS excellence. Through the collaborative efforts of its members,
GEMI also promotes a worldwide business ethic for EHS management
and sustainable development through example and leadership. The
organization provides a forum for corporate environmental leaders
to work together, learn from each other through the activities of
work groups, benchmark with peers and create tools that can be used
by GEMI members and others.
Since 1990, GEMI has been globally recognized for creating tools
and providing strategies to help business foster global environmental,
health and safety excellence, economic success and corporate citizenship.
It currently has 39 member companies representing 15 industrial
GEMI recently released Exploring Pathways to a Sustainable
Enterprise: SD Planner, a new tool that was developed
by a work group and led by representatives from Pfizer Inc. and
DuPont. This tool represents an environmental, economic and socially
responsible way that companies around the globe can create business
value. It can be used internally within companies that recognize
the importance of systematically considering environmental concerns,
economic development and social equity issues in a way that creates
the most value for their business enterprises. Instead of being
designed as a code of conduct, this tool acknowledges
that companies everywhere are just beginning their journeys toward
sustainability and each company will determine its own approaches,
concepts and actions to reach the goals that they have set for themselves.
These journeys can have many possible paths; there is not one single
path that will meet the needs of a world that is constantly changing.
A second new tool, Connecting the Drops Toward Creative Water
Strategies: A Water Sustainability Tool, highlights the fact
that there are emerging signalssome strong, some faintthat
the business case is building for companies to develop more coordinated,
forward-looking water strategies. As the GEMI work group (led by
ConAgra Foods and The Coca-Cola Co.) concluded, companies that understand
global business trends will be better positioned to identify new
market opportunities, mitigate risks, develop sustainable water
strategies and create shareholder value. The GEMI work group that
developed this tool recognized that balancing competing water needs
requires creative, collaborative and coordinated management. It
also emphasized that companies need to think in new ways, listen
closely to critical customers and innovate.
GEMI has developed other valuable tools that address issues such
- providing top and bottom line value to a company through EHS activities;
- utilizing the supply chain to improve the environment while driving
- and addressing ways that multinational corporations can help foster
environmental prosperity in the developing world.
All documents are available for free on the GEMI Web site, www.gemi.org,
as they are intended to be our members contribution to helping
foster a sustainable world and corporate citizenship.
Jim Thomas is executive director, HSE, for Novartis Corp. and serves
as the chair of GEMI. More information about GEMI can be obtained
at its Web site, www.gemi.org.