The concern about the environment has been increasing, especially due the changes our planet is going through. From extreme temperatures to environmental catastrophes, the fact is that more and more clients and consumers themselves have started to be more demanding about the companies that make their products or develop their services.
This is exactly why organizations are investing in technologies that allow to reduce the environmental impact, as well as taking actions to contribute to the environment. One of these is to have a green Business Process Management, also known as Green BPM.
What is Green BPM?
To adopt Green BPM is to analyze business processes with the goal of making them more sustainable. Therefore, we can say that Green BPM seeks to:
- Verify the resources and supplies being used in each activity, and analyze how they may be harming the environment; and
- Analyze the activities of a process to evaluate how each of them can be improved in terms of sustainability.
Although the concept of Green BPM is not so recent, for many it may be something new. However, if we think that when modeling a process we detail activities, responsible parties, and necessary supplies, we will see that it is almost impossible to have any process that does not interact with environmental, social, or economic sustainability.
The reason is process management allows us to analyze each task at a detailed level. This way, when we design the flow we can already take into account the consumption of resources for each activity.
How to put Green BPM into practice?
To begin with, you need to understand about the Green BPM life cycle. In fact, contrary to what many may think, green process management follows the same phases as any other process:
- Monitoring and control
In the Infographic The 6 Phases of the BPM Life Cycle you can better visualize the stages, but since the focus here is on implementing Green BPM, we will show you how it works in practice. For a better understanding, you can consider an existing process in your company.
Keep in mind that your focus will be on reviewing this process at each phase of the cycle from a sustainability perspective. Check it out:
Phase 1 – Planning
The question to be answered here is: how to plan and conduct Green BPM initiatives? In this diagnosis it is important to define the supplies that will be needed, as well as the tools that will be used and the roles and responsibilities.
Phase 2 – Modeling
In this step, those involved analyze the opportunities for improvement (always looking at the process with the magnifying glass of sustainability). This means that in modeling your processes, by using the standard notation – BPMN – you can insert specific symbols that take sustainability aspects into consideration. For example, how about representing energy and paper consumption?
Note that the goal of this step is to understand how the consumption of resources is in each activity and already seek to make improvements. And to take advantage of this, if you have any difficulty in doing process modeling, we recommend reading our BPMN basic guide.
Phase 3 – Simulation
In the application of Green BPM, it is in this stage that simulations/pilots will be carried out with key users to verify the adherence of the previously proposed improvements. In addition, this is when we analyze if the improvements are aligned with the sustainable objectives.
This means analyzing the consumption of resources and seeing in which steps of the process you can decrease it even more. Only after the necessary adjustments are made and the key users are approved we can move on to the next step.
Phase 4 – Execution
With the sustainability changes implemented, it is time to see the process running on a daily basis. Although each previous step has been thoroughly executed, when the process becomes part of the routine we can really see the consumption of resources in the activities. This is why the next item is fundamental:
Phase 5 – Monitoring
To really make sure that your company adopts the Green BPM concept, processes need to be tracked through performance indicators (KPI) and reports. Besides providing subsidies for audits, this monitoring will make it possible to identify any bottlenecks.
In a sustainability view, the company may have indicators such as:
- Amount of paper being used;
- Energy and water consumption;
- Carbon footprint;
- Need for transportation;
- Amount of materials used, reused, and recycled;
- Amount of waste;
- And many others.
Phase – Improvement
The performance indicators have been defined, so the company can make a much more accurate assessment and know if its sustainability goals are being met. Perhaps after analyzing the KPIs you realize that you can automate an activity to save resources, or that waste is still high.
In this stage, as the name suggests, the focus is on further improvement. The improvement must be continuous, that is, thinking in Green BPM. As the process runs, it should always be analyzed from the perspective of environmental awareness.
What is the advantage of Green BPM?
The most significant benefit is precisely having a company that not only uses nice words to say how concerned it is about the environment, but which, above all, does its part. This can result in more trust among employees, investors, customers, and other interested parties, increased credibility, attraction and retention of employees, increased brand recognition, and so on.
These would be good reasons to bring this green consciousness into your processes, but we can go further. For example, by focusing on reducing energy and water consumption, reducing waste, the company reduces significant costs.
There is also gain in agility and productivity. To limit the environmental impact on processes you may find that you can automate some activities. To illustrate this, instead of needing someone to print out a document to be signed and then send it via a courier service, you can have a Document Management solution so that the entire workflow is carried out electronically.
Besides eliminating the need for logistics (eliminating CO2 emissions), do you realize that it speeds up the process? This is a very simple example to show how adopting Green BPM can make your company much more agile and productive.
As you can see, in every business process we can adopt Green BPM. So how about now you take a process in your company and start analyzing how to improve it from a sustainability perspective?
A BPM tool can make the task easier (besides being able to make many activities more agile and reduce waste). But if you are still in doubt whether or not to invest in a Business Process Management solution, download our ROI calculator and get more clarity on BPM investments.
Try it for 15 days free right now! Or, if you prefer, request a demonstration from our consultants. Count on us to answer all your doubts and help your company!