Planet versus profit is an ongoing battle for many in the corporate world. Tight budgets and time constraints keep decision-makers from making changes. There are misconceptions that there's no ROI in sustainability: that it's an expensive marketing ploy or a trend that will pass. However, evidence shows the opposite is true. Businesses that invest in sustainability help the planet connect with more customers and improve financially, even in difficult economic times. Doing well and doing good are intertwined, and successful business strategies include both.- Rebecca Henderson, Harvard Business School Professor What is corporate sustainability? Corporate sustainability is built on the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. This includes climate justice, racial and gender equality, sustainable use of resources, safe working conditions, fair wages, and renewable energy. The Benefits & Profits in Corporate Sustainability 1. Increasing stock market value & reputationAccording to BCG and MIT Sloan Management Review, "75% of senior executives in investment firms see a company’s sustainability performance as materially important to their investment decisions." High corporate social responsibility (CSR) scores lead to higher market shares. Lower CSR scores lead to market capitalization losses of around $378M per firm. Businesses that score high on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics outperform businesses with low ones. 2. Saves energy, resources and money Making sustainable choices in the production process is kind to the environment and budget. By switching to growing organic cotton, a farming company in Egypt reduced it's water use by 30%, improved crop harvests by 30%, and revenue boosts. United Airlines switched to a light paper stock for it's in-flight magazine, saving $290,000 annually on fossil fuels. 3. Boosting employee morale Environmental missions attract job seekers and give employees a sense of purpose in the workplace. Around the world, about 65% of people applying for work want a job with a company with high corporate sustainability and ethical values. 4. Increases customer loyalty Green business initiatives help customers feel good. In 2019, NielsenIQ released a study showing that 73% of customers would definitely change their spending habits to be more environmentally friendly. 5. Gains positive publicity It's not enough to talk the talk without walking the walk. According to a study by Cone Communications, when businesses advocate for environmental or social justice, 65% of Americans fact-check that. Ideas for Boosting Corporate Sustainability Today 1. Invest in sustainable materials Make adjustments to reduce waste. Materials don't have to be 100% recyclable or biodegradable to be sustainable. Try investing in sturdy materials that last a long time vs. single-use or flimsy materials that go quickly to landfill.Using recycled, compostable, or refillable options where possible will also make a big impact. Even if you can't go 100% eco-friendly, a few changes are a great start. For example, Dove Refillable Deoderant, or plantable seed paper tags that grow into wildflowers. 2. Improve recycling programs Look into recycling programs that will divert waste into new products. Companies such as Terracycle do this with personal protective equipment, markers, laminated paper, and more. 3. Join a corporate sustainability program Making big changes can be hard for businesses, and you may feel you don't know where to start. Organizations like Climate Smart can provide data and training to help your business profitably reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable. At Botanical PaperWorks, we've been working with Climate Smart since 2018. This means we calculate our carbon emissions from energy, fuel, waste, and other sources, and roll out plans to reduce them. With these statistics in your back pocket, we hope you'll be inspired to make sustainable changes at your company. Or share this information with other business owners to help spread the word and help leave the earth a better place. Learn more about how you can incorporate eco-friendly seed paper into your next corporate promotion by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading our full Seed Paper Promotions Catalog.