Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cost Benefit Analysis of Sustainable Business

Many business owners fear the costs associated with going green and although the net return varies according to the sector, in most cases these fears are unwarranted.

Sustainable business practices should be evaluated based on a cost/benefit analysis. The benefits for things like brand reputation and employee loyalty, must be weighed against the costs and risks.

When considering the value of sustainable practices businesses need to be apprized of a wide range of benefits. The value of practices like energy conservation and resource efficiency are well known but there are other less prominent rewards.

Human resources is a good example of a department that benefits from greener practices. Greening a physical environment contributes to health and reduces sick days. According to The Harvard Business Review's summary of a number of green building studies, green facilities have been shown to increase the productivity of employees. Research further reveals that retailers who installed skylights saved energy and boosted sales by as much as 40 percent. Other research has indicated that loyalty and morale are positively impacted by a green workplace.

The Harvard Business Review summary also found that employees want the companies they work for to go green and a 2007 study revealed that people want to work for a company that is green. These factors enable green companies to attract and retain the best people, while saving human resources time and money.

Green initiatives can save money, stengthen employee loyalty, enhance a companies reputation and increase productivity.

Businesses that invest in green initiatives improve their bottom line while businesses that ignore climate change are doomed to incur much greater costs down the road. A cost benefit assessment of many sustainable initiatives reveals the merit of being greener.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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