The sustainability advantage

I provided a keynote presentation last week in Sydney on sustainable manufacturing in Australia. It was attended by a vibrant collection of business people all whom had something in common – they were either already part of, or interested in, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Sustainability Advantage program. Although, of the around 100 people who attended, and not one of them could answer me the following question.

If you could do ONE thing, that would enable you to increase your profitability or make you four times more likely to increase your range of products and services, what would it be?

On screen I had the following information:

  42% more likely to report increased profitability

  3 x more likely to export and 18 x more likely to increase the number of export markets targeted

  4 x more likely to increase the range of goods or services offered

  more than 2 x as likely to increase employment

  more than 3 x more likely to increase training for employees

There was even a hint on the slide as I also displayed the source of this information, Department of Industry, Innovation and Tertiary, Education. DIISRTE published an Australian Innovation System Report in 2012 reporting these metrics for “innovation active” companies. And there, of course, is the answer. Innovation. Companies who actively innovate can claim ownership over metrics that any company would be envious of.

So why are you still reading? Shouldn’t you be off innovating?

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