How to Succeed in Making the Business Case for Sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, the business case is workable from all angles. Not only is it far more cost effective to invest in sustainable practices, but it keeps workers happy. On November 7th, the UW Green Greeks learned from two women, Annie Thomas and Katie Secrist, who work as consultants at Sustainable Business Consulting, located in Seattle. Essentially, what they do is help different companies integrate sustainability into their business model. They do so by assessing sustainability efforts across all departments and listening to what the business is struggling with and offering assistance where they can.


So, what does the next generation of business look like? Regarding Generation Y and millennials, 88% of grad students and young professionals factor an employer’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) score into where they want to work. 88% would consider leaving their job if their company’s CSR performance no longer held up. Therefore, people want to support sustainable business and are not interested in supporting companies that are lacking in this area.


There are several universal barriers that need to be overcome for business to make the switch. People are frequently overworked and do not have the time to implement any changes. Sometimes people don’t feel empowered and experience a sense of apathy and loss of enthusiasm. So, what is the solution?



Several big-name companies have implemented changes that have greatly improved the quality of their business. For example, UPS stopped taking left turns on delivery routes and saved $50 million. Washington State Convention and Trade Center installed more than 6,000 energy efficient lighting fixtures, which saved them more than $120,000. The simple things make a huge difference.


The argument here is that it’ll always be worth it to make a change. People will be happier coming to work and the company will save a considerable amount of money.


Thank you, Katie and Annie, for your wisdom and expertise in this field. It’s inspiring to know that there are strong players making the business case for sustainability in our community every day!


sbc-picTo learn more about Sustainable Business Consulting and the work that Katie and Annie do, click HERE!

This Week: A visit from CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting Kevin Wilhelm

At our next meeting on November 15th, 2016, the Green Greek Representative Program has the privilege of hosting “one of the world’s pre-eminent business consultants and teachers in the field of sustainability,” Kevin Wilhelm. He will be coming to talk with us about how we as a community can go chase after our dream careers with sustainability in mind. Kevin Wilhelm has been very successful in writing multiple guide books on how to make different areas and aspects of your life more sustainable now and in the future. What’s more, Wilhelm will be giving us insight into his newest book Sustainability Jobs. This book has given people the necessary tools in how to go after their dream job in sustainability.

One of his key concepts is that as a community we need to make sustainability “stick,” a major concern especially within our Greek community. It’s important that we look at these changes not as a temporary solution, but as the beginning of a new lifestyle for our community. Wilhelm is coming to share these ideas and give us some major tips and hints as ways we can continue to make these positive sustainable changes in the Greek community.

Kevin Wilhelm has spoken to hundreds of audiences, many of which share a desire to make their communities more sustainable. We are beyond lucky to host Mr. Kevin Wilhelm and hear just a few ways in which we can enrich the sustainability within the Greek community.