A new MIT study finds that going green can lead to increased profits and cost savings.
The MIT Sloan Management Review recently surveyed more than 2,800 companies in 113 countries and found more than two thirds of those companies have made sustainability a strategic initiative. The MIT report points out that the companies surveyed feel that sustainability is required in order for them to remain competitive. David Kiron, executive editor of MIT Sloan Management Review stated that “the attention and investment we see indicate the here-to-stay nature of sustainability for organizations everywhere.” This is excellent news for the economy and environment; big business can drive change and adoption of sustainable practices faster than advocacy groups alone.
Some common sense principles apply to these findings, for instance, reductions in raw material and energy costs were seen when manufacturing companies cut wasteful practices. An example of this is found with Kimberly-Clark’s new toilet paper line that removed the cardboard tube from the center of the roll. This revealed that minor modifications to existing products can lead to big savings both environmentally and economically. While that does not seem like a big deal, think about the costs associated to making those tubes that end up in the landfill, now multiply that by each family in the U.S. With reduced costs come increased profits, thus the motivator for finding other efficient methods to reduce costs, starting the cycle of sustainability.
If you had to choose between a company that pollutes and does not really have going green on the agenda vs. a company that is focused on sustainability, which one would you choose? The choice seems simple and the report shows that it is easier to attract and retain employees when companies focus on sustainability. Perhaps it provides a better sense of accomplishment and self worth, or people recognize that companies looking at sustainable practices are in it for the long haul. Whatever the reason, it is great news to see that sustainability helps keep people on the job.
The MIT report helped dispel myths that going green can be costly, which is why many companies show adversity to change for the better. While the report focused on large companies, green initiatives can help small business owners as well. Whatever your industry, ask yourself how you can do it greener, cleaner and more efficient – we all win that way.