Sustainability 101

The Value of Sustainability – 2 New Reports

Two new reports throw fresh light on the value of sustainability.

Produced by BREEAM, a U.K. green building certification body similar to LEED, this report concludes that making environmentally-friendly decisions for your building does not always mean incurring additional costs.  

According to the report, achieving basic certification incurs no extra costs, while achieving good or very good certification can lead to a minimal additional cost of just 0.15% to under 2%, which is often paid back in terms of lower bills.

Greenbiz summarizes the report’s findings that point to the need “to think not just about upfront costs but also the full operational and lifecycle costs of buildings when deciding whether to incorporate green features.”

This report from McKinsey & Company explores how to capture the full value of sustainability programs in the corporate world.

The survey shows that while just 3% of CEOs saw sustainability as the top-priority in 2010, today that number is 13% (with 36% saying it is among top three priorities). Read a summary of the report here.

The report also reveals that a growing share of executives (59% of those surveyed) now identify reputation management as a core activity for sustainability.

So what should companies do? Among the report’s recommendations:

  • Look to technology. Companies that want to capture increasing value in a resource-constrained world should spend more time thinking about how to integrate their technological capabilities into their overall sustainability agenda.
  • Focus your strategy. As sustainability becomes more central to the business, companies should develop a strategy with no more than five clear, well-defined priorities—one of the key factors for successful sustainability programs. A related article from McKinsey expands on this idea with a  summary of the four keys to achieving sustainability results.
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