Bloomberg reports that green building advocates' script is no longer "save the world" but is now "save your income statement", based on a newly released report that highlighted the substantial savings to be had from reducing a companies carbon footprint. Corporate projects to reduce carbon provide a higher return on investment than total capital spending for roughly 80 percent of large U.S. companies, according to World Wildlife Fund and McKinsey, a co-author on the report. The two called out a few companies, in particular, that are doing well by doing good. Among these heavy hitters are Walmart, Raytheon, Staples, and General Electric.
In all, McKinsey and WWF estimate U.S. businesses—excluding utilities—can save $190 billion a year by 2020, provided they cut carbon emissions by 3 percent a year. The only catch is that carbon-cutting costs would have to rise to 3.8 percent of capital spending, from about 2.2 percent today. However, the report noted that companies that turn climate change into a business advantage will not only stand to reap substantial financial benefits through this type of investment, but will likely gain added income from consumers interested in doing business with green businesses. Most importantly, these businesses will likely avoid potentially crippling climate change business risks looming for those doing business as usual.