More than half of businesses find sustainability to be a top priority, according to a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Many organizations are shifting focus toward sustainable practices as a way achieve cost reduction and gain a competitive advantage by reducing environmental impact as consumers grow more environmentally conscious.
In addition to reducing operating costs, sustainability can improve efficiency and enable companies to gain incentives and rebates. Organizations were more concerned with reducing environmental impacts, and it could place them in a better position compared to competitors that were undertaking sustainability initiatives. Eco-friendly business methods meet multiple objectives. While cutting costs was usually the primary driver for sustainable practices, executives wanted to improve corporate reputation, and sustainability was also seen as a risk management process.
"Eco-efficiency has traditionally been thought of as energy only, but companies that employ a broader strategy are finding opportunities to reduce costs and impacts for other expenses such as fuel, waste, packaging and water," said Don Reed, managing director of PwC's Sustainable Business Solutions practice.
While many companies are investing in green technology, creating a more eco-friendly company can be as simple as changing employee behaviors, processes and materials used.