Green Initiatives Save More Than the Environment


Going green is not only good for the environment and for a company's compliance liability. It can also be good for the company's bottom line. CFO.com reported Wednesday on the CFO Green Conference in New York City.


Staples CFO John Mahoney told attendees the office supply company maintains its sustainability programs because they have "a measurable impact on ... financial performance." For instance, Staples stores switched from using three-amp to two-amp lightbulbs, which resulted in a $4.2 million savings once the costs of the switch were accounted for. The company also saved $1.5 million in fuel costs by modifying its trucks so the highest speed they can reach is 60 miles per hour. Mahoney told CFO.com, "When diesel prices spiked we were able to offset about 80 percent of the increase just through this program."


Environmental Defense Fund VP Gwen Ruta pointed to the EDF's corporate partnership with Walmart to illustrate the level of savings that can be achieved through green initiatives. One particularly successful change involved replacing diluted laundry detergent in large bottles with a more concentrated formula in a smaller container. According to CFO.com:

This single change, according to Ruta, produced savings of $30 million in labor costs, 150 million gallons of water, 7 million gallons of fuel, and 30 million pounds of plastic resin, as well as a 50 percent out-of-stock reduction.