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Sustainability Provides a Corporate Edge

June 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Just because it seems like all the go-green opportunities have been addressed in your facility doesn’t mean sustainable processes have done all they can for your organization. Sustainability brings much more than energy efficiency and decreased water use; more and more information is being uncovered to confirm that corporate financial success is tied to lasting sustainability efforts.

Can green practices truly increase the amount of business your organization conducts?

One of the most recent studies backing this philosophy was conducted by the University of Notre Dame, with the results released in March 2012. The financial performance of 562 bank branches (93 LEED branches, 469 non-LEED branches), all owned and operated byPNC Financial Services Group, was compared to see if LEED certification made a difference in the amount of business conducted within the branches.

To keep survey results as accurate as possible, all buildings studied were at least three years old, and researchers were careful to compare branches with similar revenue and market demographics, as well as similar advertising and employee statistics.

In this study, PNC’s LEED facilities outperformed their non-certified counterparts in almost every aspect possible. More consumer deposit accounts were opened, and there was over $3 million more in consumer deposit balances per branch; consumer loan accounts and loan balances were also higher. Overall financial performance at the LEED-certified branches increased at a faster rate than at the non-certified buildings; sales at LEED facilities were $461,300 higher than traditional buildings.

There are other studies that support what the PNCstudy confirmed a few months ago. A 2009 study by AT Kearney, a global management consulting firm, looked at 99 companies across 18 different industries (from healthcare to media to oil/gas industries) and found that companies with a sustainable focus outperformed their peers by between 10 and 15 percent. The stock prices of these firms also came back more quickly after the 2008 market crash, with a shareholder return of 10 percentage points on average.

In June 2010, a London study revealed that FTSE 350 Index companies managing their businesses for sustainability outperformed their peers on total shareholder return by between 3.3 percent and 7.7 percent per year.

What do you think about these studies? Do you think that green practices could improve the financial performance of your organization?


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