Can sustainability initiatives be financially beneficial?

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CEO in Manufacturing, 11 - 50 employees
There is an ecology and economic aspect to sustainability initiatives. What you're doing to optimize from a spend standpoint does have positive effects on your carbon footprint because you're going to consume less. And you're using technology like machine learning to optimize as well. For example, there's robotic process automation, etc., from an HR standpoint, to help with onboarding and even legal—all those contracts that AI will find a lot more in than people will.

But the punch line in all of that is that sustainability is not just about carbon reduction. It is about sustainable business. You can make a decision that isn't a choice between economics and ecology, but balances both sides of that. And if it's not economically viable to do an ecology-based investment, you need to figure out why.
CEO & Founder in Software, 11 - 50 employees
We have an initiative for responsible electronics recycling as well as possibly extending the life of devices. Nobody wants to use a laptop for more than two years, so we started figuring out better ways to manage that, either by swapping out parts or responsibly disposing of them. We also started taking some of the nice Macs that were only two years old so that when interns come, they’ll get a nice clean Mac.

We created what we call the Skin Program. We'll create fancy skins so there's no scratch on the laptop, and the interns won't despise them because they’re getting an older Mac. We also started programs where interns could design their own skin and get a reward for creating a good one, which would then go into the portfolio. With the nicer skins on, they love it. That saves us from buying newer machines, and it reduces our device spend by about 15% or so. Because these devices are not cheap: by the time you buy the warranty, etc., you're paying about $2900 per MacBook Pro.

Those economics quickly became a good driver because when the CFO saw that, he was like, "I can save $750K on laptop purchases. Great. Do it.” So they love it, and at the same time, it's not impeding employee productivity either. You just have to find a happy medium and go with it.
CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Absolutely it can be financially beneficial. There are companies like HP and others who can take your old used hardware, repair any broken pieces and then resell them in the second life market. For this HP takes a cut of the money and gives us the rest. So we are creating a second life of PC and getting some money back.
Managing Director in Manufacturing, 51 - 200 employees
Absolutely, some sustainability activities can even create revenue for you. For example replacing ageing servers and reducing your power usage can in some instances be converted into carbon credits for sale. Other examples are field equipment can be replaced for more efficient types and they can be financed by the carbon credits they produce!

Others can reduce your costs of operations.
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

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Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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