Recently four Dutch multinationals, including Shell and TNT, announced that their bonus system for their management will be linked to how much they do to ensure sustainability. They want to go green faster.
It pays off to be sustainable. Last year a study called the Green Winners* checked out how companies listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index did during the financial crisis. In almost all industries these companies outperformed the average by 15% during the first six month period. Why? They saved costs because of their green measures and innovations (think of energy efficiency, less packaging material, recycling).
They were also less vulnerable to conflicts of interest and scandals because they had already implemented business ethics, transparency and self checks. And since they were focused on long-term health and not on short-term gains they had attracted the ‘right’ investors – not only the right investors but also a network of exceptional advisors. Greening made these companies more crisis proof. And a favourite of investors of course.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index might not necessarily be the next step for you, but how do you try to make your company more sustainable? Any tips?
- A.T. Kearney Inc. Green Winners: the Performance of Sustainability-focused Companies in the Financial Crisis. http://www.atkearney.com/index.php/Publications/green-winners.html