While lounging on beach chair this summer, we thought you might like to read the updated version of a book we previously reviewed, "The New Sustainability Advantage," by Bob Willard. It quantifies what would happen, “…if a typical company were to use best-practice sustainability approaches already being used by real companies.” He further states, “(A company) could improve its profit by at least 51% to 81% within three to five years, while avoiding a potential 16% to 36% erosion of profits if it did nothing. “
In 2008, we shared some interesting parts from the original version, “The Sustainability Advantage”:
In his book, The Sustainability Advantage, Bob Willard nullifies this old view of sustainability as an expense, and he examines the profit-driving, business case for sustainability with a degree of accountant-like precision. A background in management and leadership development has helped Willard realize the opportunity for business leaders to play a role in the ecological and social well-being of the planet while increasing their profits.
Willard investigates seven bottom-line benefits that comprise The Sustainability Advantage: easier hiring of the best talent, higher retention of top talent, increasing employee productivity, reduced expenses in manufacturing, reduced expenses at commercial sites, increased revenue/market share, and reduced risk/easier financing. For each of the seven benefits, real-life examples of businesses in a variety of industries are described to have successfully used sustainable tactics to enhance their bottom line. The Sustainability Advantage also provides an in-depth case study of a hypothetical computer company which undertakes a series of sustainable initiatives. Conservative numbers, based on a variety of real-life case studies, are used to estimate the positive impact for the hypothetical company.
Throughout the book, readers are encouraged to reference the worksheets in the appendix, plug in the financial numbers from their own company, and witness how their organization would be impacted by the sustainable actions. Even with highly conservative numbers, the hypothetical company increases in its bottom line by a great deal. Willard successfully builds the case for sustainability and provides a thorough analysis of its great financial potential for the business world. The only two ways to increase profit are to reduce expenses or increase revenue; after reading this book, you will be convinced that sustainability and profit are nearly synonymous.
This summer, we're sharing the best articles from the SSC website, going back eight years. The article above was originally posted on July 23, 2008.. We'll be back in September with all new content. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about SSC, or working with an SSC consultant, please contact us!