Take these two examples:
Changing 20 conventional 100 watt light bulbs to their 23 watt Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) equivalents will keep your lighting at the same level, but reduce wattage by three-quarters. Those 20 lights will cost you $200, but you'll get $500 back in the first year. After 10 years, those 20 CFLs - which will most likely still be working - will have saved you $11,448. (See the full case study.)
If making a trivial change like that can save money, what happens if you take sustainability seriously? The classic case is that of Adobe Systems of San Jose, which embarked on an ambitious energy saving project following the California energy crisis of 2001, investing $1.4 million in energy and water retrofits. This sounds like a lot, but they are saving $1.2 million in energy costs - every year. (See the full case study.)
Here are some of the areas on which a sustainability consultancy like ClearPath will focus:
Operations: We evaluate your operations, including supply chain, transport and work flow, looking for areas where resources use can be cut, lowering your overall costs. We also look into such diverse areas as paints and cleaning solvents, recycling bins, composting, air-conditioning and garden irrigation.
Rebates: There is a complex - and growing - maze of government programs designed to encourage sustainable energy use. We help you to understand where you can benefit from rebates and tax incentives. These rebates also spill over into other areas, like insurance policies.
Certification: We help you to become a certified green business. This has major advantages for your brand, aligning you with values that are becoming more important to consumers as they make their purchasing decisions.