Why do businesses care about sustainability?

Businesses are investing heavily in sustainability. Indeed, in 2010, U.S. companies spent approximately $28 billion on sustainability (Verdandix, 2010). This figure is expected to rise to $60 billion by 2014. Sustainable business jobs have experienced 19% growth, as compared to U.S. economic growth projections of 1-2.5% for the same time period.

Why are 92% of companies addressing issues of sustainability (MIT, 2009)? Here are a dozen reasons:

  1. Increased market share
  2. Enter new markets
  3. Increased revenue
  4. Reputation
  5. Customer retention - 16% increase
  6. Enhance competitiveness
  7. Innovation
  8. Increased productivity
  9. Identify inefficiencies and drive down operating costs - e.g., nearly 6% reduction in energy costs
  10. Access to capital (lender and investor appeal)
  11. Reduced legal liability/risk
  12. Employee recruitment and retention

Benefits of Sustainability (Aberdeen Research Group, 2009; Blackburn, 2008; MIT, 2009)