Product sustainability cuts costs for companies including Coke and General Mills, according to a report by consulting firm Pure Strategies.
According to the report, product sustainability goals are the most common best practice among “performing” companies that say they have achieved widespread financial and organizational benefits from their programs. Ninety-seven percent of these companies reported the existence of goals that guide programs to deliver on internal and external benefits.
The Path to Product Sustainability is based on a quantitative survey of 100 global consumer product companies and qualitative interviews with heads, directors and managers of sustainability at companies such as Coca-Cola, Timberland, Seagate, RB and Henkel.
Sustainability product assessments inform decisions for 90 percent of performing companies, compared to 61 percent of companies lower down the sustainability path. Supplier engagement, customer scorecards and chemicals/materials of concern assessments were cited as the tools and approaches that deliver the most value.
Performing companies also recognize the importance of integrating sustainability into product development, the report says, as more performing companies will be further strengthening their sustainability focus during product development. This is a driving differentiator in product sustainability program performance, according to Pure Strategies.
Corporate spending on product sustainability initiatives will accelerate as sustainable product pioneers such as H&M, Nokia and Puma share evidence of the business benefits they achieved, according to an August 2013 report from Verdantix. Companies including Adidas, Danone, GSK and Jaguar Land Rover are investing in product sustainability and reaping the benefits such as improved consumer trust, reduced logistics costs and lower exposure to supply risks.