Is Sustainability a Business Opportunity?


Kelle BevineEscrito por:


Today, forward-thinking companies understand the “why” behind investing in sustainability. Simply put, it makes business sense. However many companies, large and small, are still looking for the “how to”.

Corinsa Solar Inauguration 2Last month, I spoke at the Shared Value Leadership Summit in New York, where over 400 companies, nonprofits and leading practitioners in this budding field – including Nestlé, Coca-Cola and the Rockefeller Foundation – imparted their experiences of putting shared value into practice.

Professor Michael Porter, who co-coined the shared value concept, affirmed that for any company to get ahead and create competitive advantage, it must tie shared value to its business strategy.

As the Strategy Chief for the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department, I agree that it all starts with strategy. Working with companies in Latin America and the Caribbean, we surface untapped opportunities in sustainability that make business sense and are integral to our clients’ business strategy.

However, putting what I call “sustainable performance” into practice is not easy and requires tailor-made solutions for companies to increase profits and productivity, while generating social and environmental returns.

Whether it’s finding new solutions to increasing the number of youth at risk employed in Jamaica, or it’s financing solar rooftop projects for companies in Honduras – forward-looking companies are keen to pursue business opportunities through the lens of sustainability.

It is essential to the long-term growth and success of any business. Ultimately it depends on each company, its unique business challenges, and the social and environmental situation.

However, more and more, our private sector clients are investing in sustainable performance solutions – with great success.

Tomorrow, I will moderate a panel discussion with CEOs and top executives, including a major airport operator in Ecuador, a global tourism operator, a leading regional logistics company in Argentina, and a recycling company in Honduras – who are investing in shared value, gender equity and clean energy to increase return on investment and development impact.

Not because of regulations or reputation, but because it makes business sense.

June 2nd, 1pm-3pm ET. Panel discussion
“Driving Sustainable Business Performance: Perspectives from the Private Sector” featuring CEOs and business leaders who are at the forefront of moving the needle in green growth and social impact.

Watch live:

Participate in the Live Polling and Q&A via (passcode: IDB2015).


Last modified: Septiembre 9, 2016

One Response to " Is Sustainability a Business Opportunity? "

  1. Pieter Swanepoel dice:

    I also believe it is important to differentiate between conventional business and social enterprise or entrepreneurship.

    The creation of shared value is entrenched in the fibre of Social Enterprise. It is a characteristic of the social enterprise model and is the anticipated result when addressing societal needs through economic goals. Shared value creation is one of the primary goals and outputs associated with social enterprise or entrepreneurship and not just a strategy.

    For the conventional business, shared value is a complimentary arm of sustainability management. I believe that shared value is not the primary goal of conventional business, but rather a strategy to work towards sustainability and reap the economic benefits thereof. Conventional business aims to maximize their capabilities, such as product expertise, superlative marketing skills as well as research and development proficiency and turn it into a competitive advantage through combining these capabilities with opportunities to create social value; if the opportunity to create social value will lead to economic value and a sustainable return for shareholders.

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