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The Business Case

Bottom Line

Companies addressing sustainability have higher share price growth than those who are not. In the winter of 2012, a study by MIT revealed that 70% of business respondents have placed sustainability permanently on their agendas and 30% of businesses cannot maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace without incorporating sustainability. To dig deeper you can download the Sustainability Pays report that spotlights 42 separate studies, most by conventional management consulting houses, academic institutions and similar establishment entities that prove this assertion.

Download Sustainability Pays Report


Efficiency is a great starting point for a sustainability program because it is essentially free money. Using energy, water, and all materials more efficiently generates significant savings. Moreover, by monitoring your utility use you will be able to track your savings and reinvest in sustainability initiatives that have a longer return on investment (ROI). This toolkit will make specific recommendations with average efficiency measures paying back within an average of two years and some as quickly as six months.


What companies invest in their labor force is dramatically more, a hundred times more, than energy costs. Investing in a good green building is proven to yield 6% to 16% higher labor productivity because workers are more comfortable. When you’re more comfortable, you work more productively. PG&E found that if you put good daylighting in schools, students get 20% to 26% percent higher test scores. When building a new green building, WalMart inadvertently conducted a controlled experiment by losing interest in sustainability measures halfway through construction. The result was a building with a green half and a not so green half., and the green side had 40 percent higher retail sales and all the associates wanted to work there! Employees, especially the younger generations, want to work in a company that aligns with their values so engaging them in sustainability is also a great way attract, motivate and retain the best talent.


Organizations have chased the next big idea since the industrial revolution. The most successful businesses go beyond resource efficiency and are evaluating new ways of making products and doing business. Using a new lens of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking will help identify inefficiencies and creative, profitable solutions. By embracing sustainability organizations have the opportunity to adopt a more holistic outlook that can be a dynamic catalyst to gain a significant competitive advantage. Additionally, innovation can solve all of the challenges we currently face. Buckminster Fuller had it right when he said that “the best way to change the future is to invent it”.

Additional Resources

Don’t just take it from us, learn more about the business case for sustainability by clicking on our hand selected third-party resources to the right.

In addition to these resources, we have created and compiled a database resources for your use on a variety of sustainability issues. Feel free to explore our these articles, PDFs, slideshows, videos, etc.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

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