Sustainability in business has become strategic for most companies. Business leaders have realized that green business initiatives drive operational efficiency, reduce costs and elevate a company’s brand. Furthermore, sustainable companies that care about the environment and social issues attract and retain both employees and customers. Bottomline, sustainability is good for business.
Sustainability has also become critical to winning new business and new contracts. Today’s vendor selection processes often include sustainability and social responsibility as part of the decision criteria. In fact, being certified as a green business may determine if your company even qualifies for being included in formal contract and RFP bids. Not being sustainable and green certified may actually lose you business and customers.
Competing for new contracts in the private sector may now require green business certification, so companies must take that into consideration when committing resources to the bidding process. The work that any company has to do in responding to contract bids is costly and time consuming, but worth it when it leads to new business, company growth, increased market value or in some cases, survival. It is not worth it, if the lack of proven sustainability efforts prevents companies from winning their fair share of new business opportunities.
In today’s hyper-competitive private sector environment, no company can afford to be eliminated from a bid that in any other case they might win, simply because they failed to become green or sustainability certified. Sustainability requirements are being driven by many large commercial companies such as Wal-Mart, Target and IKEA. These companies are driving the vendors in their supply chain to meet certain minimal sustainability thresholds as a baseline to work with them.
In the public sector, you will find the sustainability requirement even more prevalent. Most government Requests For Proposals (RFPs) require some level of sustainability in place by potential vendors bidding to win the contract. Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington State, Maine, Vermont and Colorado, to name a few, have all issued executive orders or passed some form of legislation to ensure that some type of environmental impact is accounted for by companies bidding on projects. The stakes are high. The California government alone awards over $10 billion in contracts annually. This can take many forms, but the baseline for firms wishing to do business in these states is a demonstrated commitment to sustainability and in many cases official green certification.
The fact is that being greener and more sustainable is good for business. This should not be a surprise to any business leader as the bottom line benefits of sustainability are well understood and proven. Green initiatives like solar power, recycling, hybrid vehicles, and LED lighting drive operating efficiency, reduce waste, and lower energy costs. Sustainable businesses now have a competitive advantage, this includes a brand identity that is more aligned with employee and customer expectations. In other words, sustainability impacts sales and can improve both the top line and bottom line.
If you are a business that bids on contracts, green certification will increase the number of bids you are eligible for and improve your chances of winning. Your company and employees likely spend extensive time and energy to respond and secure bids. It would be a shame to be eliminated for not doing something that at the end of the day is good for the planet, good for your employees and good for the bottom line of your business.