Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Growth of Sustainability as Revealed by 3 MIT Reports

According to three reports published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, businesses continue prioritize sustainability to be more competitive, improve their brands and be more profitable. The first study cited indicates that businesses are still investing in sustainability despite a sluggish economy. The second shows they are doing so to gain a competitive advantage and enhance their brands. And the third demonstrates that an increasing number of businesses are deriving a profit from integrating sustainability into their corporate strategies. 

A 2011 article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, showed that despite the economic crisis 42 percent of businesses indicated that they are spending more to improve sustainability and 46 percent said they would spend more in 2012. A total of 17 percent said that they had made significant increases in spending on sustainability. While everyone else said they had not changed their spending, only 1 percent indicated they would spend less.

Another 2011 MIT Sloan Management Review study suggests that companies are simply responding to consumer demand. The report “New Sustainability Report: The Embracers sieze the advantage” indicated that the greenest of the lot, known as "Embracers" saw sustainability as a matter of gaining a competitive advantage. A second group of companies mentioned in the report are called the "Cautious Adopters." They claim to be using sustainability mainly as a strategy for reducing costs. Both Embracers and Cautious Adopters indicate that investing in sustainability enhances their brand.

A third MIT Sloan Management Review Report titled “Sustainability: Nearing a tipping point” was released in January 2012. According to this report most managers indicate that sustainability is on their companies strategic planning and many are saying that they are turning a profit from their investments in sustainability.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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