Sustainability in Business = 51% to 81% MORE PROFIT (CSR)

November 1, 2021 By admin 0

A business using best-practice sustainability approaches can increase its profit by 51% (for small or medium enterprise) to 81% (for a large manufacturing / distribution company). In this video I present the business case for sustainability and reliable evidence that quantifies the value of a company integrating sustainability into its DNA. This video is based on PhD research by Bob Willard.

0:00 Introduction
0:34 The language of sustainability in business
1:48 Crunching the numbers
2:39 The 7 bottom line benefits for business
4:00 Conclusion & support message

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For more details about this, read “The New Sustainability Advantage” by Bob Willard

The language matters: Nowadays we hear everything from the word “sustainability” to “Triple Bottom Line”, to “the 3Es (equity, environment, economy)”, “the 3Ps (people planet profit)”, “CSR (corporate social responsibility)”. What’s important to realize from a business perspective is that, while all these words are relevant – and some will resonate with your company culture better than others (for example words like “profit”, “asset management”, etc.) – what we’re ultimately talking about is being a steward of 5 capitals in a way that helps your business be more successful.


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Videos are created by Alexandre Magnin using years of experience drawing and working as a sustainability consultant with businesses and communities:


“The new sustainability advantage” by Bob Willard
The Five Capitals:
Script co-written by Sarah Brooks.
Music: Swamp Stomp by Silent Partner

Thank you to our volunteer for Portuguese subtitles: André Ribeiro Winter

Is there reliable evidence that quantifies the value of a company integrating sustainability (sustainable development) into its corporate DNA? Turns out the answer is, “Yes!”

For this video, we’ll draw on the work of business sustainability guru Bob Willard. After working 34 years with IBM, Bob completed first a masters and then a doctorate on the business case for sustainability at the university of Toronto. He’s the author of several books and is considered a global expert on this topic. Let’s see what Bob has to say on the business case for sustainability.

We can’t talk about business without using numbers, right?! Now that we know what we’re talking about, how do we know whether integrating sustainability into our corporate DNA will actually help us steward our 5 capitals in ways that generate revenue and mitigate risk?

Based on years of research and hundreds of case studies, Bob Willard’s research shows that if a typical company were to use best-practice sustainability approaches already being used by real companies, a Small or Medium Enterprise (~6 employees and $1 million dollar revenue) could improve its profit by at least 51% and a large manufacturing/distribution companies (of several thousand employees and a $500 million revenue to 81%) could improve its profit by at least 81% compared with if it did nothing.

There are 7 bottom line benefits that align with current evidence about the most significant sustainability-related contributions to profit.

Increased revenue: 9%
Reduced energy: 75%
Reduced waste: 20%
Reduced materials: 10%
Increased productivity: 2%
Reduced turnover (attrition): 25%
Avoid a potential 16% to 36% erosion of profits due to reduced risks ( revenue and  expenses)

The first one is about making more money, 2 to 6 are fewer expenses and 7 is more revenues and fewer expenses due to reduced risks altogether.

It’s true! Just by doing what others are already doing a business can increase its profit by 51 to 81% within 3-5 years. And, keep in mind this is only about best practices; innovation and creating better products and services can take you even further. This is well documented and you can the numbers for your own company on It’s all free and open-source.

Sustainability is just smart business. The numbers we’ve discussed are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes the business case for sustainability. I’ll offer many more videos about the business case in the days ahead, and also videos on making sustainability relevant for the business community. So, stay tuned! Subscribe to receive the new videos.