Research shows sustainability a “must have” for long-term business viability

Aberdeen Group research shows that top performers are improving customer retention while driving down sustainability-related costs.

06/18/2009


For the past several years, companies have struggled with the desire to be more sustainable for brand and customer relation reasons as well as for the potential cost benefits. Too often though, the initial costs have appeared too daunting and have led many companies to delay action on the sustainability front.

Top reasons businesses are adopting sustainability initiatives
According to “The ROI of Sustainability: Making the Business Case” study, this graphic depicts the top reasons why business are pursuing sustainability initiatives today. Source: Aberdeen Group.

In the meantime, other companies have taken the plunge into sustainability on several fronts —ranging from social responsibility to energy efficiency. And according to new research from Aberdeen Group, those companies have already begun to reap the benefits.
“The ROI of Sustainability: Making the Business Case” study, recently released by Aberdeen Group, is designed to serve as a roadmap for those attempting to match environmental and social stewardship to clear and measurable improvements to their operations and financial results–thus ensuring the continued viability of their business.
According to Aberdeen, far from being a philanthropic "nice to have," top-performing organizations view sustainability as a "must have" strategy for long term business profitability and success. An agenda for sustainability and corporate social responsibility brings together strategies to ensure optimal performance related to the business, the environment, and society.
By incorporating sustainability objectives into performance management, fostering standard policies and focusing on carbon and cost reductions, top performers achieved 9% reduction in carbon footprint, 6% reduction in energy costs, 7% reduction in facilities costs and 10% reduction in paper, all while managing to improve customer retention by 16%.
The report also shows that leading companies are 52% more likely to incorporate sustainability performance indicators in measuring the performance of the full supply chain.
“This is often combined with sustainable sourcing strategies, focusing not only within their own four walls but encouraging, or even demanding suppliers demonstrate sustainable, responsible, ethical practices,” says Cindy Jutras, vice president and research fellow, Aberdeen.
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