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The ROI of Sustainability

Many companies get their start in sustainability with a few light-green initiatives — new lightbulbs, updated water fixtures and commuter checks are all no brainers. But when it comes time to extend programs beyond the basics, it can be hard to justify the expense. Or is it?

Sustainability practitioners love to talk about “the business case,” that is, the idea that money spent on social and environmental initiatives will come back to benefit the company. Financial leadership will probably disagree unless they can actually calculate the payback period for upfront expenditures.

In this series we’ll discuss the ROI of sustainability — what it means and how to track it. We’ll look at innovative projects from companies and communities, discover how these projects got approved, and uncover whether the returns actually added up to a good investment.