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There is a strong Return on sustainability

It is clear that being sustainable and green is not just about saving trees.  There are clear and obvious business benefits that come from a fresh view of all aspects of your business through the lens of the environment and sustainability.


Companies are embarking on initiatives across their companies that are driving new revenues, driving down costs and reducing risk.  Some examples include:

·         Tracking, analyzing, and uncovering ways to reduce  carbon (and costs!) at a company and product level

·         Creating new products and markets from new green products or concepts

·         Recall/traceability – smarter and faster recalls that keep consumers safer and drive down costs

·         Complying with global, complex product regulations like REACH and RoHS

·         Managing and reducing energy use in plants facilities and transportation methods


These initiatives are already paying large dividends as evidenced by the examples below:

1.       Dupont’s Eco-efficiency efforts since 1990 cut costs by U.S. $3B and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 72%

2.       Nike – 15% of its footware meet its “Considerd Design” status that  they use eco-conscious materials, reduce factory waste, & cut toxins

3.       Unilever introduced a hand washing campaign in India, reaching 120 million people so far and increasing sales of soap

4.       Danone had a 22% reduction in costs by optimizing fleet utilization

5.       Procter and Gamble developed $2 billion reduced footprint products including concentrated laundry detergents and has cut energy 46%, CO2 52%, waste 50%, water use 51% since 2002

6.       INX reduced substance volume tracking by 75%


So here is a question to the virtual readers – what actual stories or unique ideas do you have in sustainability to drive a business case?  Driving new revenue or new markets?  Reducing cost or risk?   Please share…..

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  • Hello Jennifer,
    That really was informative.SAP Sustainability as per me has come at such a juncture when the world has to come to its feet as nothing can save us from future disasters if we delay in understanding the high impact and potential abilities of it. All that shines is not Gold and this is what people have started to believe these days. So sustainable living is in vogue. Also by mapping it to a Business Case, sustainability will make its presence felt by delivering the actual ROI’s dreamed by all companies. Only those Value based unique Ideas, which I often like to call them as “The Valuniques” will make way and hay in the market unimaginably driving revenues to new heights.

    When it comes to Reducing Cost or Risk, SAP’s EHS would help Sustainability take much more seriously than ever before. SAP EHS has delivered and proved time and now. Risk is kept at bay with its automatic warning and reporting measures embedded in SAP EHS package. Those mishaps which always trouble employees back of their mind, say while working at a chemical plant are taken care by the system today by alarming at the specific time intervals. Through SAP’s Carbon Impact, things that never would have been considered will not only be reported, their impact will be analyzed and a benchmarking would bring in the sense of responsibility as a Global citizen.

  • Hello Jennifer,
    Good to read and the statistics about this subject always impress me. Peter Graf calling Sustainability as the next big thing after Internet and Globilization is something to consider seriously(I had been listening to his latest key note address – very informative)

    I have been doing a lot of study on sustaiability recently and I as well came across a list of very
    interesting examples on the “Return” part of sustainablity(Economical dimension  of sustanability – to me one of the valid business senses of the three dims). One of such surprising & critical fact according to World Business Council for Sustainable Development
    is 80% of the product’s lifecycle impact, as well as 80% of its cost, is determined in the design phases.As you mentioned Nike is already acting on it.
    I ,with few other collegues here in India are investigating the possibility of letting the designer know which of the products that he designs is more sustainable.
    We have just begun – hope it gets somewhere.

    Thanks & Regards,Karthik from India