Ignoring Green Rush Hurts Bottom Line

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Businesses are facing increased pressure to address environmental issues that also support the bottom line

The environment has finally been given a seat at the boardroom table. Even companies that were once notorious for their exploitation of the environment are joining the discussion, as they try to cope with the upheaval environmental issues are having on their bottom line. In their new book, Good to Green: Managing Business Risks and Opportunities in the Age of Environmental Awareness, John Phyper and Paul MacLean say that now is the time for businesses to go green. Their top 3 reasons:

Improved Customer Stickiness
Increased public awareness of environmental issues (like global warming, species extinctions, and carcinogens in products) has significantly impacted consumer spending and retention. Companies are realizing that "greenwashing" and "cosmetic environmentalism" are damaging to the bottom line and that true change, along the entire supply chain, is required.

Expansion into New Markets
Over a trillion dollars per year is being spent on water purification, solid waste management and clean energy technologies. Add to this monies being spent on environmentally friendly products, energy conservation and regulatory compliance, and the market opportunity is overwhelming. The recent U.S. stimulus package included approximately $58 billion in spending and tax cuts to encourage the use of alternative energy and energy conservation. Companies need to assess how they can capitalize on the growth of these markets.

Elimination of Mismanagement
More and more companies are starting to assess the business risks/opportunities related to environmental issues, and in doing so are altering how they do business. Now these issues are being transferred from the VP level to the shop floor, at both company's operations and those of their suppliers. Only by attacking this problem in a multi prong approach can the desired goal of reducing costs and negative impact on the environment, across the supply chain, be achieved.

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Deborah Guichelaar
John Wiley & Sons
416-236-4433 ext. 53013
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