Bloomberg: Companies Going Green Despite Public Cynicism

Eric Roston, sustainability editor for Bloombergwrites that some larger companies are ignoring the skepticism with which their sustainability efforts are greeted. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in June, “It kind of doesn't matter. We do it because it's the right thing to do."

Roston asserts that the some corporations have data that their efforts to coexist with the environment lead to more satisfied employees, better hiring, better relations with the community around them, and a more efficient use of resources. Hesse boasted that Sprint's sales force recently racked up more than 30 major business "wins," meaning Sprint working with sustainability executives at client firms. He stated that because of that kind of work, Sprint added $1.5 million in annual revenue from eight clients whose devotion to sustainability meant better relations. Yet he claimed the process couldn’t be haphazard, saying, “It has to make sense or we won’t do it.”

Roston complains that there is much criticism of sustainability efforts: “Belittling sustainability, which I see a lot of, risks neglecting its most important lesson, that enslavement to conventional short-term growth expectations can threaten brands’ long-term success.”

Still, green buildings are a money-buster, and solar panels are not cheap enough to be used as much as sustainability advocates would like. Hesse acknowledged that sustainability shouldn’t supersede making a profit. He said, “A lot of minority investors don’t really care whether we pollute or not, for example.”

Their attitude? “It’s purely financial.”


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