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Sustainability Leads to Cost Savings, Revenue Growth

Sustainability programs are producing cost savings, revenue growth, competitive advantage and environmental benefits across corporate America, writes Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in a Businessweek management blog.

Sirkin cites a survey BCG conducted in cooperation with the MIT Sloan Management Review in which 37 percent of the 2,600 managers and executives identified sustainability efforts as a source of profit — a 23 percent rise over last year. About half of the responding companies (48 percent) said they changed their business models as a result.

The blog quotes David Brodwin, co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, who earlier this year said sustainability efforts take many forms: “Some companies succeed by targeting sophisticated consumers who prefer to pay more for a product that is organic, healthier, produced in [a] cleaner or safer way, or produced in a way that provides more benefit to the workers involved…Other companies succeed by driving their costs down as a result of rethinking their product  and process design…Still other companies succeed because the pursuit of sustainability leads to a higher quality product, with fewer defects and rejects.”

Firms that set tangible, public sustainability goals improve their financial and environmental performance, according to a white paper released in July by CH2M Hill.



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One thought on “Sustainability Leads to Cost Savings, Revenue Growth

  1. I wanted to share with your readers that the City Of Burlington, Vermont has had a strategic sustainable economic development plan since 1984.

    I served as the head of the City of Burlington’s economic development department from 2012-1983. I recently coauthored the book “Sustainable Communities ~ Creating A Durable Local Economy.”

    Three examples from our book that other communities can learn from:
    1) We passed a local bond for $11.2 Million dollars for energy conservation and efficiency over 20 years ago. Overall electricity use in 2010 was only 2% greater than in 1989. During the same period, statewide use of electricity increased by 17%. Thus, we are meeting the needs of a growing local economy with about the same amount of electricity as we used 20 years ago. The efficiency investments saved Burlington customers $13.2 million in 2010 alone.
    2) We established the Women’s Small Business Program and worked with Trinity College, Now Mercy Connections, to provide this training. Now over 150 women have started businesses during the last 20 years.
    3) We helped establish and nurture over 20 Private Non Profits including the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT). CHT manages 1,500 apartments, stewards over 500 owner-occupied homes and provides homebuyer education and financial counseling.

    The goal in our book is to share what we learned so other communities from around the world can learn from our community’s successes and that communities take the ideas and scale them down to fit their own needs.

    Our book “Sustainable Communities ~ Creating A Durable Local Economy” is part a series by authors from around the world. This is how our publisher Earthscan ~ Tools for Community Planning states it:
    “There is increasing global demand for more local involvement in the planning of the environment. This is the only way that communities will get the surroundings they want and make the transition towards a sustainable future. This series of short, accessibly priced, practical books have been written by the world’s leading planning professionals to provide tools to support community planning wherever it occurs. Each book is a stand-alone, but together they create a compelling resource for planning professionals, community groups, activists, planning students and anyone looking to facilitate engagement in a community context.”
    View: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/series/ECTCP/


    Bruce Seifer, Author
    Sustainable Communities ~ Creating A Durable Local Economy

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