Monetizing Sustainability Investments for Business Decision-Making
Today’s sustainability investment options are extensive and broad ranging, including relatively straightforward efforts (e.g., energy conservation projects) to multi-year/multi-stakeholder initiatives (like those that target social and environmental improvements deep within an organization’s supply-chain). While doing any or all of these could yield significant benefits, it is often unclear which will generate the greatest, most enduring value. Faced with this dilemma, leaders often struggle to understand which choices are best and how they should evaluate the many alternatives to ensure the most effective, efficient and sustainable decisions are made.
One way to improve would be to encourage better, more quantitative analyses that examine the full costs and benefits associated each investment in sustainability, combined with an analysis of which could make the greatest contribution for the business, the environment and society simultaneously.
While most understand that ‘when the economics work, the social and environmental benefits last’, many barriers remain for those wishing to accelerate the pace and effectiveness at which sustainability initiatives are funded and implemented, including:
• the lack of a demonstrated link between sustainability and business value;
• failure to communicate the strategic potential of such efforts in a way investment decision-makers can understand and appreciate; and
• not leveraging proven, familiar processes (that other company functions have applied) to accelerate decision-making and scale solution implementation. . .
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