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Sustainability Leads to Cost Savings, Revenue Growth

From Environmental Leader, Published 27 November 2013

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).

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 2012. 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 in 2013 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 2013 by CH2M Hill.