Businesses leading with sustainability see growing returns

Global Business

Businesses leading with sustainability see growing returns

One issue that a number of corporate executives are dealing with these days is environmental sustainability. Many companies once pursued profits without giving much thought to how they were impacting the environment. Today, a lot of firms are achieving economic growth while striving to be environmentally responsible. In fact, the two are often intertwined.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado, is the eighth largest brewer in the U.S. Maker of Fat Tire beer and many others, New Belgium’s founders had some lofty goals when they started in 1991.

“They wanted to do more than just brew delicious beer and bring the Belgian style of brewing to the U.S. They wanted to make sure they were making a positive impact in the world.” Said Katie Wallace, New Belgium Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.

Wallace’s job is minimizing the company’s environmental footprint. Solar panels help power the bottling lines at New Belgium. Glass recycling is a priority. Ninety-nine percent of New Belgium’s waste has been diverted from the landfill and now makes money for the company.

“We started a lot of these practices because we felt like it was the right thing to do, but quickly we found that it made good business sense,” Wallace said.

Seattle Fish Company in Denver has discovered the same thing. It, too, uses solar panels and cells to produce energy. Much of the styrofoam in which fish arrives is compacted and sent to China to make picture frames. Millions of liters of water are reused. The seafood manufacturer works with fisheries to make them environmentally sustainable.

Sustainability is now a prominent feature of many corporations’ mission statements. More and more companies have concluded that concern for the environment and economic growth can go hand in hand.