Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Green that earns Green

Businessweek had a great article in the April 4-10 issue “Sustainability meets the profit motive.” The main subject was that companies have found some great ways to make money that also decrease their environmental footprint. Their point was that when an environmentally beneficial change is also profitable, it is much easier to implement. Companies like to be good corporate citizens, but they can only go so far.

For example, PepsiCo has a potato chip factory that captures the water from the potatoes during frying and uses it to wash the next batch, landscaping, etc., saving $1 million a year in water. Wal-Mart switched to a corn-based package for its fruit that saves $200k/year. There are other examples too.

As an individual, I can choose to pay more for a greener version of a product because it is important to me. But companies find it much harder. So it’s great to hear about innovators who are making inroads in sustainable process improvement that are easy for companies to implement because they make money, not cost money.

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