More New Jersey businesses are finding that strategies used to protect the environment also cut costs, motivate employees and improve their company's image.

 In other words, environmental sustainability is about a lot more than protecting the environment.

That is the conclusion of a report released today by NJPRO (New Jersey Policy Research Organization), the research affiliate of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.  The report, Sustainability for Business:  Innovation, Cost Savings, and Opportunities, examines the business-oriented benefits of new environmental policies that companies are employing. 

“Sustainability is no longer just a buzz word,” NJPRO Executive Director Sara Bluhm said.  “It’s a way of looking at business operations that takes into account the long-term viability and profitability of their operations.” 

“What our study found is that the benefits of sustainable practices went beyond the obvious cost savings and efficiencies,” Bluhm said.  “Sustainability allows businesses to improve their image by being seen as good corporate citizens.  Employees become more forward-thinking.  It even makes them more competitive by getting ahead of the curve on industry standards and regulations.”

Campbell’s Soup, AT&T and the law firm Gibbons P.C. were all featured in case studies on how they implemented sustainability policies and the benefits they provided.  The report covers the basics of implementing a sustainability strategy and offers several practical examples of sustainable practices that businesses could easily adopt right away.  It also includes plenty of resources for businesses that want to and can do more.

“This isn’t an academic report,” Bluhm said.  “We wanted to provide employers with ideas and examples that they could put to use.”

 It also showed how trends in business are making sustainability more important.  The report noted that consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for a product if it’s sustainable.