Is sustainability part of your mission?

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We recently encountered this question on a discussion board:

I was told sustainability is outside of our mission. How can that be?

Our answer? It can’t be. Cleantech or not, sustainability is always part of your mission as a company.

There are at least three business arguments for a focus on sustainability:

1. Cost

Sooner or later, every company will realize a financial benefit for energy efficiency and regulatory compliance. Those who seize the high ground here sooner will have less (expensive) catching up to do later.

2. Brand

Sooner or later, your customers will evaluate the products and services they buy on the basis of their understanding of your environmental stewardship (or lack thereof). The same goes for your investors.

3. Viability

Sooner or later, practices that are not sustainable in the clean, green, eco-friendly sense will not be sustainable in any sense. Scarce resources will disappear, demand will dry up, and disasters will cease operations altogether. This may occur later than sooner, but it’s the ultimate rational argument for protection, prevention and preparedness today.

Things that can’t be sustained eventually stop, by definition. You don’t want one of those things to be your business.

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