Reducing waste -- and saving money

Here’s another example of a company reporting economic benefits from environmentally sustainable practices.

Last week I blogged about an executive who thinks that environmental sustainability initiatives helped his company survive the last recession. Now, this week, here's another example of a company reporting economic benefits from environmentally sustainable practices.

The new edition of Business Insight, which MIT Sloan Management Review produces in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, contains a fascinating case study of a Subaru plant in Indiana that has found that reducing its environmental impact saves money.  For example,  the company says that it has reduced electricity-per-car consumption 14% since 2000. (Researchers Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder report that they confirmed the company's claims.)

The article goes into interesting detail -- including a passage about how Subaru employees explored the contents of the company's dumpsters to figure out ways to reduce waste. The most substantial cost-saving impacts, according to Subaru? "Where the biggest savings have been achieved, in descending order: reducing waste by revising processes, conserving energy; and working with suppliers."