Sustainability is proving its value to both short-term and long-term business health

What was true last year is even more true this year: Sustainability is seen as beneficial to the bottom line.

Sixty-nine percent of leaders and experts say sustainability is good for short-term business success—a 14-point increase from last year. Over the long term, 87% believe sustainability is beneficial for business (a seven-point increase).

While some of this business value is likely due to an improved reputation with customers and employees, sustainability initiatives also present an opportunity to decrease operating costs through reductions in energy use and materials.

“Sustainability is a no-brainer,” says Severin Tenim of ALEC Engineering & Contracting, a leading tier one construction and contracting firm. “Companies that think it’s optional are deluded. Sustainability goes beyond the environment. Your business model needs to be sustainable; your staff retention needs to be sustainable; your ability to deliver reliably needs to be sustainable; your pipeline of work needs to be sustainable. Every single business in the world needs to be sustainable.”

“We’re living in a time where sustainability is not just a nice-to-have,” says Kim Dabbs of furniture maker Steelcase. “You can do business in a way that honors people on the planet and still be profitable. The more that companies understand that these aren’t trade-offs, but rather long-term investments—those are the organizations that are going to come out farther ahead in the next decade. In the long term, they’re going to make money back.”

Sustainability initiatives drive long-term revenue

Survey question: To the best of your knowledge, how much business value (as a % of annual revenue) can sustainability measures generate in the long term for your company? 5-point scale.

Continue exploring this insight

Business health: AECO

Business health: D&M

Business health: M&E