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Go Green or Suffer the Consequences

We’ve always heard that companies can lose money by refusing to go green, and now it appears we may know just how much. According to a study released this week by New York management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, packaged goods companies that don’t effectively incorporate sustainability into their business plan could see earnings reduced by as much as 31% by 2013 and 47% by 2018.

That’s a pretty ominous forecast, but it underlies an excellent point. Investing in smaller packaging, waste reduction, solar panels and the like certainly has long-term cost benefits, but the recession (we can now call it that) has companies reluctant to go for the green right now. The Kearney study, however, notes that environmental policy and trends will have long-term effects on key commodity prices. Keep putting it off, and you’ll find yourself left behind.

Thankfully, a lot of companies out there do understand the value of sustainability no matter what their financial situation is. They need to keep it up, convince others, and then once they’ve reached their current goals, set the bar even higher.