Companies realize that environmental initiatives can create great PR, but they’re also realizing that those initiatives must be profitable in order for them to be sustainable over the long term –especially with the economy threatening CSR budgets.
“Innovation software” companies like Invention Machine and Imaginatik help manufacturing companies develop clever ways to make their products more environmentally friendly without killing their cost structure, CNET reports.
Imaginatik CEO Mark Turrell says his company helped Wal-Mart unlock energy saving ideas from its own employees and wound up implementing $38 million in cost savings.
Over the past two years, Pitney Bowes’ energy task force has been responsible for projects that have eliminated more than 380 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from its operations. Those efforts reduced costs too.
“If you can’t be profitable, sustainability doesn’t make sense,” says Steve Di Biase, senior vice president and chief scientific officer for JohnsonDiversey, a cleaning products company.
Environmental Defense Fund recently released “Innovations Review 2008: Making Green the New Business as Usual,” a report highlighting the latest trends and best practices that show how environmental sustainability efforts are creating new markets, providing competitive advantages and saving companies millions of dollars.