Billion-Dollar Companies Creating Competitive Advantage with Sustainability

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – In statistical terms, a company has only a 0.00006 percent chance to become a billion-dollar enterprise. One of the key commitments needed to reach this benchmark in today’s competitive global marketplace is to have sustainability at the heart of the business. In fact, the companies that continue to ignore this commitment may not be able to remain in business for too long.

At present, there are at least nine companies globally, five of them in the U.S., which make over $1 billion in annual revenues from products that support sustainability and social good. These companies include some of the most innovative multinationals, and their success in creating competitive advantage through sustainability can serve as a model for other companies.

The list includes electric vehicles from Tesla and Toyota, Nike’s Flyknit athletic shoes, and GE’s Ecomagination technology that runs through its businesses from power to transportation. Food companies in the list include Unilever, which aims to source all its agricultural ingredients from sustainable farming, Whole Foods Market, the first U.S. national supermarket to have its retail operation certified organic, and Chipotle, which focuses on naturally raised pork, beef and chicken.

The combined revenues from sustainable products among these companies are in excess of $100 billion a year. According to consulting group POINT 380, these companies also deliver high returns to shareholders, challenging the myth that sustainability goals will somehow compromise business value. An investment of $1,000 into these nine companies in June 2010 would be valued at $3,251 by March 2015, compared with $1,932 for a portfolio of more traditional competitors.

Freya Williams, a brand strategist and marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, said that these companies are not only growing faster that their competitors, but also enjoying greater profit margins. According to Williams, other companies that are likely to join this sustainable billion-dollar club in the near future include Warby Parker, Airbnb, The Honest Company, SweetGreen, Patagonia and Method Home.

Source: Huffington Post

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