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.