4 Things We’ve Learned From Companies Who’ve Gone Green


More and more companies have realized that going green offers more benefits than the peace of mind that practicing sustainability brings.   It’s been discovered that practicing environmental responsibility not only has a positive social impact but it also has a positive effect on the bottom line.

Here are 4 things we’ve learned from companies who have gone green:

Huge savings on operational and production costs

There are many opportunities for companies to be more profitable by innovatively reducing their operational costs.   Many see these as lean and green business decisions that are both cutting edge, and cost saving.   This is likely explained by the realization that sustainability is also very profitable.  In fact over the long term, it’s the most profitable option.  Here are some impressive examples:  

Dupont: who committed itself to a 65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions has saved $2.2 billion a year by practicing energy efficiency.

Dell: Using packaging made of wheat straw, a byproduct of wheat harvesting, uses 40% less energy to produce, 90% less water, and costs less to make than traditional packaging.  Dell has also recently started a new program to take scraps of carbon fiber and use them in both Dell’s business and gaming computers.

GE:  Ecomagination line of products and services has generated more than $200 billion in revenues since GE started the program 10 years ago. Revenue from Ecomagination products totaled $34 billion in 2014, representing about 30 percent of total GE sales, the company says.

Frito-Lay’s:  Near Net Zero Facility is considered one of the greenest manufacturing facilities in the US and can boast that they reduced 50% of its greenhouse gasses by running the plant off landfill gas.  

Attracting more customers

With more people making the shift towards sustainable lifestyles, going green attracts new customers who were equally passionate about the preservation of resources and environmental responsibility.

Nielsen studies examined consumers’ response to sustainability.  They found that fifty-five percent of global online consumers are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.  The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe are 42 and 40 percent, respectively.

Taking the Lead

Jonathon Porritt, director of Forum for the Future,  and global thought leader is focused on solving some our planet’s most difficult problems.  He has observed, a “governance shift” is occurring in the field of sustainability, with governments stepping back and businesses stepping forward to lead the change.   The realization that sustainability and innovation are pathways to increased profitability is likely pushing this evolution.

Retaining employees

Employees feel a great sense of pride when they belong to an organization that practices sustainability and whose corporate culture fosters green innovation. They are attracted to having a sense of purpose which can translate into increased productivity, improved retention and decreased costs from reduced turnover rates.  The desire to do meaningful work is rising higher on the list of what job-seekers are looking for.   A 2013 Deloitte study, Culture of purpose: A business imperative, showed that 73 percent of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged, compared to just 23 percent of those who don’t.