- Opinion & Analysis
- Read Time: 5 min
Many companies are taking the first incremental steps toward sustainability, such as energy conservation and recycling. That’s a good start — but going further can yield significant competitive advantage.
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How are sustainability pressures altering the competitive landscape, and how are businesses responding? The first annual Business of Sustainability Survey and interview project found that a strong consensus of managers believe sustainability is having and will continue to have a material impact on how companies think and act.
Celebrated scientist, entrepreneur and sustainable business strategist Amory Lovins on how companies can seize the opportunities they’re missing.
When Interface’s Ray Anderson founded his commercial carpet company, he’d never heard of ‘sustainability.’ Now his company has turned it into a competitive advantage. Here, a timeline for how one CEO’s ‘mental model’ changed.
As sustainability-related pressures change the competitive landscape, what kinds of capabilities and characteristics will that landscape demand of companies that aim to thrive? Here’s what Business of Sustainability survey respondents and sustainability thought leaders say.
Meeting the sustainability challenge will require the kind of cross-sector collaboration for which there is still no real precedent. It must be co-created by various stakeholders by interweaving work in three realms: the conceptual, the relational and the action-driven.
Many companies now offer slick “sustainability reports” along with their annual reports as indicators of their performance. The problem is that none of this espoused benevolence creates true sustainability. The root of this problem is neither business’s misunderstanding of what’s at stake nor corporate cynicism about the sustainability cause (though these may be contributing factors). The problem really stems from management’s failure to see unsustainability as a deep-seated systems failure.
Companies lose money because they treat pollution control and plant operations as separate concerns. It costs less in the long run to make environmental and plant managers true partners in finding compliance solutions.
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