Corporations See Faster Sales Growth of Sustainable Products, Study Reveals

Corporations See Faster Sales Growth of Sustainable Products, Study Reveals

Many homeowners who installed energy-saving light bulbs five or 10 year ago were disappointed when they burned out prematurely, especially since the “green” bulbs cost significantly more than the old Thomas Edison-era filament models.

Same goes with the first generation of water-saving toilets, which met the government standard but didn’t get the job done reliably.

But manufacturers did not stop tinkering with their product designs and have created far superior replacement lines using LED bulbs and bathroom fixtures that actually work effectively while using even less water.

A new survey by the nonprofit Conference Board, hints at the reason why consumers continue to see new products that are marketed as sustainable -- they are massive moneymakers.

“Leading companies are generating as much as one fifth of revenues from portfolios of sustainable products and services. These portfolios are growing impressively, an average six times the rate of overall revenues,” says Thomas Singer, author of the study, Driving Revenue Growth Through Sustainable Products and Services.

“Consumers and customer want solutions to challenges like climate change and resource scarcity, and companies want to meet their own environmental performance targets, so they are putting their money where public and corporate concerns overlap,” said Singer, a principal researcher in corporate leadership at The Conference Board.

The new research, to be discussed in detail on a July 14 webinar, looked at S&P Global 100 companies from 2010 and 2013 and determined that revenues from sustainable products and services grew by 91 percent versus a 15 percent rise in overall company revenue.

Companies defining portfolios of sustainable products include Allianz, BASF, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, DuPont, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba.

Sustainable products represent a growing share of revenues from companies in the sample, and on average account for 21 percent of total revenues in 2013 compared to 18 percent in 2010, wrote Singer.