Sustainability is on the Rise – Along with Sales and Savings
Sustainability is defined by the EPA in the as having the purpose “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” (Source) Investment in corporate sustainability spending is on the rise and is yielding extremely positive results. According to a recent survey by the consulting firm Pure Strategies, companies are reporting the following:
- More than 80% of companies expect a sustainability budget increase from 2016 to 2017 with 1/3 expecting a double-digit growth
- Approximately $800 million gained from increased sales
- $800 million in manufacturing cost savings
- Additional earnings in risk reduction, productivity gains, and enhanced growth opportunities adding up to billions in value
Those surveyed are taking a proactive approach to the future of their business using sustainable means. They are committing to using safer materials with some companies adopting chemical policies against hazardous chemicals, and others creating sustainable sourcing plans. The use of safer materials is expected to grow from 64% of companies with these well-advanced programs to 79% in 2019. The survey found that the number of companies using renewable energy is expected to grow from 26% in 2016 to 46% in 2019. In that time frame, some of these firms will rely heavily on renewable power purchase agreements.
Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart says, “Companies know sustainability is good business. Strengthening product supply chains and other systems today will benefit customers, business and society tomorrow.” (Source)
Sustainability is no longer a thankless effort. Companies are seeing results and have documented growth in profits and savings in multiple areas. Sustainability is paying off!