Over at the Smart Blog on Leadership, there's an interview with James Epstein-Reeves, president of Do Well Do Good, "on corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and cause marketing," as well as on "what to expect in 2012." The first question, of course, is "Why are companies engaged in sustainability?" The answer, by Epstein-Reeves, is that there are six reasons:
...first one being innovation, the second one being customer engagement, third being employee engagement, the fourth is kind of more of a long-term thinking and long-term approach to business, the fifth is brand differentiation, and the sixth is cost savings.
On the last point, it's clear that cutting down on waste, including energy inefficiency, saves companies money over the long term. Doing so also helps the environment and a company's public image. Win. Win. Win.
Another interesting point by Epstein-Reeves: it's a "miss" when you see companies "addressing greenhouse-gas emissions and carbon dioxide emissions and things like that but [not] necessarily being explicit in their discussion of climate change." Instead, Epstein-Reeves argues, "at a certain point we just have to call a spade a spade;" doing otherwise - in other words, "say[ing] you’re reducing your carbon dioxide but ignor[ing] the underlying reasons why you want to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions" - is "just odd," in his view.
If you find the issue of corporate sustainability an interesting one, you can read the rest of Epstein-Reeves' interview here.