Using resources more efficiently

by The Times 100 on Monday 21st March, 2011

With rapidly rising petrol and diesel prices, many motorists are looking to find ways of saving money and fuel. Making fewer journeys is not always possible so people are being advised to look at changing their driving habits to make efficiencies. For example, driving at 80mph will cost about 10% more in fuel than driving at 70mph, according to the Department for Transport. Little changes like keeping tyres properly inflated, not carrying unnecessary weight in the boot, driving more smoothly and keeping to a constant speed where possible all help to conserve fuel. Even disengaging gear at traffic lights and using the handbrake could save £10-£20 per week. (BBC, 9th March 2011)

For businesses, getting the most out of their resources is not just a matter of saving money. The demand for the world's limited resources is increasing as the population continues to grow, so making use of these resources in an efficient and sustainable manner is of great importance to organisations like mining company Anglo American. Anglo American is one of the world's largest mining companies and is aiming to find ways of improving its energy efficiency and achieve greater sustainability. Of the sustainability issues facing Anglo American, two in particular stand out: how to secure energy supplies and resources for the future; and how to manage emissions to minimise harm.

In order to help it deal with these issues, Anglo American has set out a number of SMART objectives to guide the business. One such objective is 'Between 2004 and 2014, to achieve a 10% reduction in emissions per unit of production'.By building a strategy to help achieve its aims and objectives, Anglo American can build a sustainable business that uses resources carefully so it can provide for both current and future generations' needs.

Questions
1.Define the term 'objective'. How is this different from an aim?
2.Explain what is meant by a SMART objective.
3.Write two new SMART objectives that would be suitable for Anglo American.

Answers
1.Define the term 'objective'.
An objective is something that a business wants to achieve. It is a short to medium-term stepping stone to help a business achieve its aims.

2.Explain what is meant by a SMART objective.
SMART objectives are clear and easy to measure. They make it simple to assess whether targets have been met. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – relating to clearly identifiable targets
  • Measurable – set out in ways that can be measured
  • Achievable – they should neither be too low or unrealistically high
  • Relevant – the objectives should relate to key business aims
  • Time-framed – a clear deadline or achievement of the objective should be given.

With rapidly rising petrol and diesel prices, many motorists are looking to find ways of saving money and fuel. Making fewer journeys is not always possible so people are being advised to look at changing their driving habits to make efficiencies. For example, driving at 80mph will cost about 10% more in fuel than driving at 70mph, according to the Department for Transport. Little changes like keeping tyres properly inflated, not carrying unnecessary weight in the boot, driving more smoothly and keeping to a constant speed where possible all help to conserve fuel. Even disengaging gear at traffic lights and using the handbrake could save £10-£20 per week. (BBC, 9th March 2011)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: