Business Case for Sustainability

Business Case for Sustainability

Hi Alex here. What is the business case
for sustainability? Is there reliable evidence that
quantifies the value of a company integrating sustainability into its
corporate DNA? Turns out the answer is ‘yes’ for this video we’ll draw on the work
of business sustainability guru Bob Willard after working thirty four years with a
IBM Bobcompleted first a masters and then a doctorate on the
business case for sustainability at the University of Toronto he is the author of several books and is
considered a global expert on this topic let’s see what Bob has to say on the
business case for sustainability first the language nowadays we hear everything from the word sustainability to triple bottom line to the three Es equity environment
economy the 3 P’s people planet profit CSR corporate social responsibility and so
on what’s important to realize from a business perspective is that while all these words are
relevant and some will resonate with your company culture better than others for example words
like “profit”, “Asset Management” et cetera what we are ultimately talking
about here he’s being a steward of the five
capitals in a way that helps your business be more successful these are financial and manufactured
capitals related to the economy human and social
capitals related to equity and natural capital related to the
environment because everything comes from nature at some
point for more on this last point and the triple bottom line see earlier videos all the different terms you hear about all refer to the same thing managing
today while preparing for tomorrow in ways that sent your business up to be
resilient in light of changing conditions the important thing is to choose your
language make sure everyone understands and is using the same definition and then stick to it second the numbers we can’t talk about business without using
numbers right now that we know what we’re talking about how do we know whether integrating
sustainability into our corporate DNA will actually help us to steward our five
capitals in ways that generate revenue and mitigate risk? Based on years of
research and hundreds of case studies Bob Willard showed that if a typical
company were to use best practice sustainability approaches already being used by real companies a
small or medium enterprise six employees and about one million
dollars of annual revenue could improve its profit by at least 51
percent and a large manufacturing or
distribution company several thousand employees and about
five hundred million dollars of annual revenue could improve its profit by at least
81 percent compared with if he did nothing there are seven
bottom-line benefits that align with current evidence about the most significant
sustainability related contributions to profit one increased revenue 9 percent reduced energy 75 percent reduced waste 20 percent four reduced materials 10 percent five increased productivity 2 percent six reduced turnover 25 percent and seven avoid a potential 16 to 36
percent erosion of profits due to reduced risks
coming from additional revenue and fewer expenses
the first one is about making more money two to six are about fewer expenses and seven is a combination of more
revenues and fewer expenses due to reduced risks altogether it’s
true! just by doing what others are already
doing a business can increase its profit by 51 to 81
percent within three to five years and keep in mind that this is only about best practices innovation and creating better products
and services can take you even further this is well documented and you can go
to to enter your own numbers for your own
company it’s all free and open source
sustainability is just smart business that’s the bottom line and the numbers
we’ve discussed are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the business
case for sustainability I’ll come back with many more videos
about the business case in the days ahead and also videos on making sustainability relevant for the business community so stay tuned subscribe to receive the
new videos thank you to Bob Willard for all his
great work and also for being a patron Sustainability Illustrated if sustainability education is
important to you, you too can become a patron and make a pledge on as usual thank you to our patrons we
can’t make these videos without you and thank you for watching. and

Comments (8)

  1. WOW! What a great little video!  Thank you for the kind credit you give me in the video and the reference to my website.
    In just 4.5 minutes, the video covers a topic that usually takes me 45 minutes to deliver in a typical presentation. That’s a 10 productivity factor and the clever graphics make the message wonderfully memorable. I especially like the one about injecting sustainability into company DNA. Beautiful!


  2. A wonderful and concise picture of corporate sustainability's overall goals in < 5 min. Thanks for this, Alex!

  3. Hi, I was just wondering if you have a reference for the quote "Managing for today while preparing for tomorrow"?

  4. Your voice is intoxicating. You have an amazing accent. French accents are the best

  5. Can we clean the oceans?

  6. How is reduced turnover a profit?

  7. hi! I would like to know if all the data presented in the video is taken from the book mentioned? thank you!

  8. Great job on the video. It was an explanation that was easy to follow.

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