If more people perceived the word “sustainability” to be synonymous with “wealth creation,” I imagine many of the barriers to forming a green infrastructure simply wouldn’t exist. Blue Skye, a San Francisco-based sustainability consulting firm, is seeking to establish that synonymy, helping business leaders use sustainability to craft new, inventive wealth generating strategies. The message that environmental and social issues are part of the core of any green business – a message Blu Skye consultants convey to businesses big and small – has achieved significant results. If efforts like Blu Skye’s are successful, more companies – and job seekers – stand to benefit from the business possibilities inherent in sustainability.
Blue Skye’s approach is simple. According to its website, the firm helps “business leaders get beyond typical corporate, social and environmental responsibility to view sustainability for what it really is – the greatest business opportunity of our time.” In keeping with this line of thinking, Blu Skye offers a range of services, including strategy development and implementation, education, and navigation of the red tape often involved in going green, to help clients cut costs, increase revenues, reduce risks and strengthen brands. Importantly, Blu Skye works with all employees in a company, from hourly employees to CEOs, in order to build the company’s sustainability strategy into the fibers of its operations.
Judging from Blu Skye’s client list, which includes a number of large corporations (i.e. Hilton, Sam’s Club, Sony and Walmart), its outreach isn’t geared just toward altruism- or small-business-oriented companies. And judging from one Blu Skye case study (its work with Walmart), the consultants clearly connect the greening of clients’ operations with the achieving of clients’ monetary goals (i.e. reducing costs, increasing efficiency and capitalizing on health and environmental trends by attracting new customers). The picture of large corporations going greener and maintaining their bottom line is a pretty one indeed, since it could serve as an example for firms that avoid greening their operations because of fear of loss.
In addition to benefitting individual businesses and the greater green business network, it seems services like Blu Skye’s could significantly boost the green job market (assuming that the strengthening of sustainable business will increase the number of available jobs). The movement of large and small businesses toward eco-mindedness could signify a bigger-picture shift toward sustainability, which would (at least theoretically) improve the job market. I also imagine the (relative) greening of a corporation like Walmart could have something of a domino effect, urging sustainable growth among other businesses. After all, surely Walmart wouldn’t invest in a green makeover if there wasn’t a profit involved.
What are your thoughts on the link between business sustainability and the job market?