Tensie Whelan, professor and director at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, suggested several ways to make a real impact, both financially and environmentally, with sustainability policies:
Think about sustainability as a business opportunity, not as a compliance or PR issue (although those are important, as well).
“If you take a step back, at its core, pollution is about operational inefficiency,” Whelan said. “You’re buying more than you need and paying to dispose of what’s left over. Tackling that helps you reduce operating costs and risk and can create new business opportunities.”
Substantive sustainability policies can improve brand reputation.
Fund startups to get a foot in the door on next-gen tech. Companies such as Google and Amazon have explicitly set up internet venture capital funds or incubators to encourage sustainable technology. Amazon seeded its Climate Pledge fund with $2 billion, for instance. And numerous CPG firms and retailers have come together to invest in the Closed Loop Fund to finance circular supply chains that limit waste and protect the environment.