GOOD

Survey: Business Leaders Are Surprised That Sustainability Actually Pays Off

In a new survey, seventy-two percent of executives said the benefits of their company's sustainability initiatives exceeded their expectations.

It pays to conserve. That's the finding of a survey of 247 executives in the U.S., U.K. and China released by the consulting firm Accenture. Seventy-two percent of them said the benefits of their company's sustainability initiatives exceeded their expectations.


We don't know how low those expectations were. Swapping out your incandescent bulbs at the warehouse is one thing, reducing your waste stream is another—which, by the way, can cut your landfill costs by a quarter million a year, to $10,000, if you do it right.

Still, this sampling of average businesses is instructive on the thinking taking place in C-suites. "It's clear that sustainability is no longer merely a matter of compliance," said Bruno Berthon, managing director of Accenture Sustainability Services. Most corporate leaders know sustainability can pay off, but about a third still think it's not important according to the survey. In fact, the same percentage of the executives think business is doing too much, 28 percent, as doing too little to make practices sustainable, 26 percent. Overall, the impression from average business leaders in the survey say being a sustainable business costs "a little more."

The most helpful piece of information from this survey, though, might be the information about what motivates sustainability shifts. The top two drivers, according to these execs, were investor pressure and regulation. Consumer pressure matters, but not as much as the pocketbook and the law.

Not surprisingly, opinions on whether greening a business was going to pay off financially closely mirrored the actual adoption of green initiatives. The bosses who aren't doing anything to increase sustainability were way more likely to say it doesn't pay. That may be because they're just unconvinced, but they may also be in industries where, frankly, it doesn't boost the bottom line, even if it does help society.

That's were measurement comes in. The profits from sustainability need to be as accurately measured as profits from pollution. "Measuring sustainability performance and results is the first practical step business leaders need to make, but requires new skills and proven methodologies," Berthon says.

Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading