Six Surprising Sustainability Facts
1. Fuel efficient cars would eliminate North American Oil
More than a century ago, Henry Ford’s original Model T got 25 mile per gallon (mpg). Fast forwarding through a 100 years of head spinning, relentless technological progress and today the average SUV in North America gets 17 mpg. So we’ve been going aggressively backwards into the future.
When oil hit $US147 a barrel in 2008, the US was transferring $700 billion a year to the Middle East for oil imports, the greatest voluntary, unnecessary transfer of wealth in human history.
2. Oil subsidies globally total $US700 billion a year
Why are government subsiding the most profitable industry in the world? The most profitable companies in the world? With the global debt crisis, why are governments still handing out oil and gas subsidies?
The $700 billion a year of oil subsidies does not include the $100 billion a year the US spends defending Persian Gulf shipping lanes to ensure the flow of oil to the US, nor the cost of the Iraq war, which Nobel economist Joesph Stiglitz estimates to be $US2.7 to $6 trillion in total (not an annual figure).
3. Cutting carbon is profitable
Business leaders should take note, this isn’t a radical environmental group, it’s the pre-eminent management consulting firm worldwide. This categorically dispels the myth that going green is expensive because cutting emissions increases the efficiency of businesses, of homes and society as a whole thus providing a huge economic benefit to the economy. The study shows that there’s no single silver bullet; instead there’s silver buckshot – made up of very highly profitable energy efficiency solutions.
Investing $2 trillion from now till 2020 – would provide an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 17%, according to The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity, a separate McKinsey & Co study. This rate of return is better than the historical return for investing in property and stock market over the long term!
4. Efficiency of North American electricity generation could
5. Going green great for the bottom line
Walmart is investing aggressively in energy and fuel efficiency. The $500 million it’s investing in sustainability projects have a payback of four years or less and has become an incredible profit engine for the corporation. Walmart embarked on this initiative in 2005 and is now saving more than $500 million a year – all of which is driven to the bottom line.
Walmart works on 3% net profits so to make another $500 million of profit the corporation would have to sell an additional $16.7 billion in goods! Even for the largest retailer in the world in the midst of a recession, this would be a challenge.
6. Turning PCs off at night saving Dell $1.8M/year
Going green is highly profitable for three reasons: it cuts costs, reduces risk against rising energy and electricity prices and can increase revenue because a large segment of consumers want to buy products and services from green companies.
BY Jim Harris