Fully adopting sustainability efforts in this decade could have a real impact on companies' shareholder value, says Daniel C. Esty, an environmental policy professor at Yale Law School. Esty thinks sustainability will become as transformative for business as the earlier quality and information technology revolutions, once more top executives recognize the huge potential to trim costs.
"Sustainability has emerged as a factor in determining which companies win in the marketplace, and smart CEOs are investing in a more rigorous approach to the environment," says Esty, on leave from Yale to run Connecticut's Environmental Protection Dept., which will have additional energy responsibilities pending approval from the legislature. "A good number of companies begin to see the upside opportunity. The very best companies see the brand and corporate identity opportunity."
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