Montgomery County Class Resources: The Business Case for Sustainability

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines the business case for sustainability through the following claims.  Sustainability can:

1.)   Make firms more competitive

2.)   Make firms more resilient to shock and nimbler in a fast changing world

3.)   Unify employees and partners in the private sector along a common purpose

4.)   Attract and hold customers and employees (retention)

5.)   Reduce risk among regulators, banks, insurers and financial markets

In turn, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development focuses on sustainability’s impact on the financial bottom line.   

Notably, the above components do not necessarily yield immediately drastic results.  Rather, they illustrate the need for a long-term outlook and foresight among decision-makers.

A good example of this challenging dynamic is summarized in a February 23, 2011 blog on, titled Sustainability Doesn’t Sell…or Does It?  The blog shows how, when asked, decision-makers don’t immediately list sustainability as a top priority of their company’s for the coming year.  However, looking towards the services they will likely purchase, sustainability consulting is among the most substantial. 

So while corporate decision-makers may not immediately see sustainability as a pressing need, their longer-term strategy, as evidenced by their service spending, tells a very different story.  See the full article here