The Sustainable Advantage

Has your business realized the value of integrating sustainable practices into your daily operations? Do you have a sustainability policy or plan in place? If not, you may be missing opportunities to improve financial and operational performance. According to a recent Harvard University study, corporations that voluntarily adopt sustainability policies are more likely to have established processes for stakeholder engagement, are more long-term oriented, and significantly outperform their peers financially over time.

Need more proof? The Harvard Business Review recently reported that resource-efficient companies—those that use less energy and water, and create less waste in generating a unit of revenue—tend to produce higher investment returns than their less resource-efficient rivals. Yet another study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) revealed that S&P 500 companies that build sustainability into their core strategies outperform those that fail to exhibit environmental leadership.

What is environmental sustainability?
In a nutshell, organizational environmental sustainability is the production and delivery of products or services through which greenhouse gas emissions/atmospheric pollution, energy use, and other forms of environmental damage are minimized. According to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, corporate sustainability is a "business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments."

The notion that sustainable business practices are reserved for environmentally-focused "green" companies no longer holds true. Your customers, investors, and stakeholders have come to expect sustainable business operations as a necessary means for reducing waste and costs. It’s hard to deny the facts: The CDP study found that corporations with active sustainability plans secure an 18 percent higher return on investment (ROI) over companies not engaged in sustainability efforts. Those same proactive companies’ ROI is 67 percent higher than those who refuse to disclose their emissions. Furthermore, corporate sustainability is vital in order to minimize climate change and the threat of diminishing natural resources.

Corporate sustainability practices could include:

  • Optimizing energy efficiency opportunities in company-owned facilities
  • Implementing an action plan to achieve a carbon emissions reduction target
  • Incorporating sustainability performance into procurement and supplier decision-making
  • Identifying and reducing material waste streams through innovation and collaboration
  • Engaging employees and customers through effective communication of sustainability progress and goals 

Getting started
Whether you’re starting from scratch, looking to fine-tune an existing plan, or aim to become a market leader, WECC is here to help. We offer a number of customized services to assist your business in sustainability planning, tracking, and reporting—leading the way to achievable, measurable results.

We offer solutions designed to advance your own internal sustainability performance, as well as programs that amplify your progress by engaging members of your supply chain. Contact us today to learn how we can help.