Today there is no other area where corporations can invest and expect a larger return on investment than within the area of Sustainability.
From an ethical standpoint we act responsible and do our fair share. That is our obligation to society. Often we do much more than authorities and other governing-bodies demand, but it is not often done out of the goodness of our hearts. There is a business rationale driving which the early adopters are capitalizing on.
There is a direct economic impact for those who fully embrace Sustainability-thinking and adopt an investment strategy to truly become more efficient. At the core of Sustainability is the concept of not using more than we need in order to produce that which we produce and constantly strive to be more efficient in all aspect of our business.
When we produce the same amount by using less, every Euro not spent ends up on the bottom row. Every Euro not spent is another Euro in profit, 100% so.
One of our clients has a goal to save 15% of their energy consumption by 2015 and 20% by 2020. How would your bottom line be affected if you cut your energy costs by 15%?
For each and every area savings like this can be made. Think beyond energy alone and add other factors such as raw-materials, chemicals, water and transportations, etc… The potential is big. And just as having a responsibility towards society, we have a responsibility towards our shareholders to run the business as efficient and productive as we can. We live up to that responsibility by not using more than we need.
The economic synergies of Sustainability are also plentiful. The less we spend the less waste we have to manage. The less we spend, the less risk we expose ourselves to (e.g. liabilities, fees). In order to succeed in our Sustainability-efforts we will need to examine some of the things we do and how we do it, and this process of re-invention will also lead to higher productivity. When thousands of companies do this at the same time the demand for commodities will lower and thus also lower the market prices for these commodities.
Our partner, SAP, launched a Sustainability program in 2008. During the first three years of this effort they saved 170 million Euros. However, these savings are “dwarfed” by the benefits from the innovations this new mind-set have generated. If your company can truly adopt a Sustainability-strategy that impacts the whole organization, how do you think it will affect your ability to be innovative and competitive?
In the endless pursuit of ever increasing profits – Sustainability is today’s game-changer, the great equalizer, which sifts the opportunists and laggers from those who will prosper in the years to come.
If you can produce at the same level at a lower cost, how will that affect your position on your market? What if your competitors suddenly could produce at 15% lower costs, how would that affect you?