Greening to get out of the red

A new survey has quantified the economic benefits of sustainable business practice, products and services, proving once and for all the greener the business; the greener the bottom line.

The study of 1,305 SMEs found that three out of four businesses could see a direct correlation between the amount of green initiatives put in place and higher sales.
Green America, EcoVentures International, and Association for Enterprise Opportunity in America conducted the survey to track and quantify the growth of the green market.

Russ Gaskin, chief business officer, Green America, said: “We believe that the market preference reported by the small businesses in this study is just the tipping point. Sustainability is clearly becoming a competitive imperative in business.”

Of particular interest were the food and construction industries. The organic food industry has increased by 238 per cent in comparison to the food market as a whole, which has only seen a growth of 33 per cent. The green construction market has seen a 1,700 per cent rise against the 17 per cent reduction of the general building sector.

The survey also found, that the more carefully water, energy and waste are handled by a company in a sustainable fashion, the higher the profit margin and the stronger the overall business performance.

The economic reasons for sustainable business practice that is measured, managed and shared are now more tangible than ever; and interestingly have even flourished in a difficult economic climate.

Survey analyst Dr. Julie Cincotta, principal, CLA Organizational Solutions, LLC, said: “This survey shows that green business is not just about feeling good, it positively impacts an organization’s bottom line.”

The survey also found that between 2002 and 2011 the use of renewable energy grew by 456 per cent whilst non-renewable sales fell by 3.2 per cent.

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