Sustainable Business Practices Can Impact
You can read our Top Story this week first and then you can forward this important commentary to your C-Suite if the execs there have been wondering how corporate sustainability may be impacting a company's bottom line, in positive ways.
A quartet of experts writing in the Harvard Business Review has responded to the short-term, bottom-line pressures that we hear so much about throughout much of Corporate America.
To develop their case, the authors (three academics and a consultant) looked at Brazil's giant beef industry, a challenge for studying considering the size and complexity of the industry and its long-term impact on the planet. (Brazil is the world's largest beef exporter and second largest consumer market for beef products.)
Key finding: "sustainable" and "deforestation-free" industry practices created significant financial benefits for all players in the industry value chain. Quantifying this, the authors found net benefits to ranchers ranging from 12% to 23% of revenues. Sustainable agricultural practices provided the most financial benefits, while the uptake of deforestation-free commitments over time reduced risk to the industry and company components.
Their approach demonstrated (they write) that measuring the value chain of sustainable business can be done and the sustainable business itself can be cost-effective. Brazil's beef industry impact on the plant has been intense (with de-forestation and GHG emissions) and there have been significant steps taken to address the issues involved.
One industry participant explained that while there is no price premium for sustainability alone, there is for quality, and the company's quality immediately increased with the adoption of sustainable practices. Today, 70% of their beef products are sold with a quality premium, from "zero" two years ago. That resulted in increased revenues and greater customer satisfaction.
While the focus is on the Brazil beef industry (and the value chain from grower through the processor to retail) we think there's some good material here to help executives understand "the possible" bottom line impacts through sustainable business practices.
The authors are Tensie Whelan of NYU Stern School of Business, Center for Sustainable Business; Bruno Zappa, A. Kearney strategy consultant; Rodrigo Zeidan, of NYU-Shanghai and Fundacao Dom Cabril/Brazil; and Greg Fishbein at The Nature Conservancy / Collaboration for Forests & Agriculture.
The academic authors worked with AT Kearney to develop the methodology for their case. The work included research, data analysis and interviews with key players. Organizations examined included McDonald's; Carrefour; JBS, Mafrig, Antea Group (all in Brazil); Infalora; Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV); and, The Nature Conservancy.
Top Stories This Week...
How Do We Measure Sustainability?
About Sustainability: Progress Is Being Made
Retail is Tapping Innovative Financing to Grow Sustainability, And It’s Working
The pendulum is swinging towards in-house sustainable sourcing’
Sustainability Now: Natural And Man-Made Disasters, From Atom Weather To Fire Ants
Achieving A Sustainable Urban America
To Hire Star Millennials, Plug Successful Sustainability Efforts
Chocolate Is Bittersweet: How Sustainability Practices Affect Shareholder Value
Sustainability can be a good business case
Apparel Companies Unite to Measure and Improve Sustainability
Economy slows as sustainability rises
Sustainability of Food Production Goal of WWF
New Ceres Report Calls for Sustainability Practices Across All Corporate Boards
Why the demand for ESG is not going away
This is how much of your life air pollution is stealing from you based on where you live
New York City aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
Census Bureau: Median Incomes Rose And Poverty Levels Fell In 2016
China looks at plans to ban petrol and diesel cars
Fires, droughts and hurricanes: What's the link between climate change and natural disasters?
Microsoft, Disney among companies calculating carbon footprints – report
Allianz ahead of all other insurers in Dow Jones Sustainability Index
Philip Morris International Sustainability Report Outlines Fundamental Transformation to Shift Its Business to Smoke-Free Products
VW CEO vows to offer electric version of all 300 models by 2030
Lawsuits against Equifax pile up after massive data breach
The Inside Story of Marriott's High-Seas Rescue After Irma Stranded 620 Hotel Guests On St. Thomas
JPMorgan pledges $40 million to Chicago for economic growth in underserved areas
EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study
Google Hit With Gender Pay Discrimination Lawsuit
News & Opinion: Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds
New York City Comptroller Launches Campaign for Corporate Board Diversity, Independence, and Climate Expertise
Interview with Michael Baldinger, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing at UBS Asset Management
Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Bullish On Small Money Managers
Hurricane Harvey - The Bigger Picture
Another Way Climate Change Might Make Hurricanes Worse
Harvey and Irma to Slow US Economy but Rebound Should Follow
‘It’s Devastating.’ Returning Florida Evacuees Stunned by Extent of Damage from Hurricane Irma
After Irma, Florida prepares for days — and maybe weeks — without power
G&A Institute Sustainability Update™
G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) in the USA, UK and Republic of Ireland. We identify, receive, collect, analyze, database, and communicate about every report issued in any of the 3 countries. Over the past 6+ years, G&A analyzed 6,000-plus sustainability reports in this pro bono role and databased 100+ important data points for each report.
Navigating the way to sustainability...
The Sustainability Highlights eNewsletter is prepared by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. based on continuous monitoring of trends and developments in Sustainability and ESG. Governance & Accountability Instiute is the “Sustainability Headquarters™” for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. Based in New York, G&A is a for-profit consulting organization providing a range of value-added strategies, services and resources related to ESG & sustainability to clients in the corporate and capital markets communities.For G&A's full range of services, click on each of the links below: