Scenario: Profit From The Circular Economy

Sector: Sustainability

Toyota, Chipotle, Ikea, Unilever, Nike, Tesla, and Whole Foods have succeeded in doing what few thought possible – making sustainability profitable. What are the drivers?

A global median of 51% say climate change is already harming people around the world, while another 28% believe it will do so in the next few years. So, its not surprising that a recent global consumer survey by Unilever (a British-Dutch consumer goods company behind such brands as Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Knorr) cites a $1 trillion market opportunity for businesses that effectively market themselves as eco-innovators. 21% of those polled by Unilever said, “they would support brands that clearly conveyed the sustainability aspects of their products through their marketing and packaging.”

Not only are measures like LED lighting, ride-sharing initiatives and green data centers good for the environment as well as the health and well-being your employees and local community, but its clear that there are strong links between eco-innovation and increases to a business’ profit margins.

While some companies are making clear progress with sustainability, many organizations are still struggling to move forward, according to a global survey by BCG and MIT Sloan Management Review. To move forward, businesses need to:

  • Create a sustainability strategy
  • Make sustainability a top management agenda item
  • Develop sustainability business cases
  • Measure progress on corporate sustainability performance
  • Define new business models to address significant sustainability issues
  • Pursue partnerships—with some combination of suppliers, NGOs, governments, and competitors—to drive impact

The percentage of companies that have either established a sustainability business case, or are currently trying to, has grown from 30% to 45% over a five-year period. Although that’s progress, it falls far short of the 65% that report sustainability is on their organization’s top management agenda. Nearly one-third of respondents either failed to establish a business case or hadn’t even tried to create one.

Ask us how we can use our deep understanding of science, technology and business to help your company profit from sustainability.