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September 03, 2013

Corporate Sustainability Leaders Report Business Benefits
    by Robert Kropp

A survey of sustainability heads by the UK-based Verdantix indicates that most have achieved cost savings and almost half expect to increase spending on product sustainability -- According to a recently published survey by Verdantix, a UK-based sustainable investment research firm, more than two-thirds of respondents consider it important to improve product sustainability performance during the next year.

The survey, entitled Product Sustainability: The Dos, Don'ts and Business Benefits, asked 250 corporate heads of sustainability in 13 countries to “identify the tangible business benefits of a product sustainability strategy, understand emerging best practices and anticipate future trends in product-level sustainability,” Verdantix stated.

“Thirteen per cent of respondents anticipate increasing spending on product sustainability in the double-digits and 32% plan single digit increases,” Verdantix continued. “At least 80% achieved cost savings on logistics and materials; 67% mitigated resource scarcity risks and regulatory risks.”

The survey also notes industry-specific adaptations to sustainability, ranging from customer expectations and anticipated regulatory changes to meeting the green procurement requirements of governments.

“The positive results from product sustainability investments include improved consumer trust in the brand, reduced logistics costs and lower exposure to supply risks,” Verdantix Global Head of Research Rodolphe d’Arjuzon said. “Insights into how to achieve these benefits are now diffusing across sectors such as footwear, consumer electronics and packaging.”

Verdantix also states that the survey provides information on using design, supply chain, and communications to meet product sustainability goals.

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