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The New Competitive Advantage

A growing number of companies are abandoning the old view that protecting the environment is incompatible with a better bottom line. Instead, they are finding that sustainability is profitable for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it is good publicity.

Bob Willard, a retired senior manager from IBM with over 35 years experience, is the author of The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line.

Willard says environmentally-friendly companies are showing they can improve their profits through energy conservation and efficiency and other environmental measures. When sustainable companies reduce their manufacturing waste in energy, raw materials, packaging and transportation, average savings are at least five percent. More savings come through energy efficiencies, water conservation, and other environmental initiatives at non-manufacturing sites.

But there are indirect benefits to a green approach to business that outweigh direct benefits. For example,