Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sustainability Advantage: Short Costs Long Growth

Businesses are showing leadership and driving sustainability. The relationship between businesses and the consumer is changing, people increasingly expect responsible conduct that incorporates sustainability. Sustainability is no longer only a way to reduce risk and prepare for a more stringent regulatory environment. Sustainability is a competitive necessity and sustainable business actions are becoming de rigueur.

Forward looking businesses are interested in the entire lifecycle of a product. They scrutinize each stage from manufacturing and initial packaging to the “end of life.” Rather than just seeing costly burdens, they are finding opportunities across a product’s entire life cycle. In the process they are meeting the demands of their customers and making sustainability a central part of the way they differentiate themselves.

A well executed sustainability plan presents an opportunity to forge a stronger competitive position.  In a tough economic environment businesses need every advantage they can find. Companies are developing innovative approaches to reducing their use of energy and minimizing the amount of waste they generate.

To maximize their competitive positioning some corporations are taking their efforts to the next level. In addition to scrutinizing their own footprints they are promoting more responsible consumer behavior.

While investing in sustainability may incur short term costs it also affords long term growth. Perhaps even more importantly, sustainability is increasingly a matter of competitive survival.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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