Engaging sustainability has been shown to be a profitable move and this is corroborated by new research which shows that it can increase revenues by more than 90 percent. Corporate sustainability initiatives are sometimes dismissed as too costly, however a study of some sustainability pioneers reveals that incorporating sustainability into strategic planning and investing in related R&D can have a dramatically positive effect on innovation, profits and growth.
According to research published in June 2015, the revenues of firms engaging sustainability increased by an average of 91 percent compared to 2010. The study called, “Driving Revenue Growth through Sustainable Products and Services,” was conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute.
As explained on the Conference Board website, “a sustainable product portfolio can engage customers, attract investors, drive innovation, and dramatically accelerate the pace of growth.”
This report examined IBM’s Smarter Planet, Kimberly-Clark’s ecoLOGICAL portfolio, General Electric’s Ecomagination and 9 other companies’ successful sustainability portfolios.
In GE’s case, since the launch of Ecomagination in 2005 growth rates are four time the rate of their overall industrial business.
This report adds to a number of others that have come to the same conclusion. This includes a 2014 CDP report, 2013 reports from CDP, PwC and SICM, a survey by Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs on manufacturing, a Hill+Knowlton Strategies communications survey and a case study from Cranfield School of Management on sustainable supply chains.