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The Green Life: Sustainable Companies in an Unsustainable Economy

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February 18, 2009

Sustainable Companies in an Unsustainable Economy

Storm clouds The economic forecast seems gloomy as ever, with unemployment rates sky-high and companies scrambling to stay afloat. Desperate times may seem to call for desperate measures, but, at least in the financial world, that doesn't mean the environment has to suffer.

According to a recent study by A.T. Kearney, Inc., companies that maintain sustainable practices outperform their less conscientious peers by 15 percet during financial crises. Sixteen out of the 18 industries studied, green businesses surveyed led their field by an average of $650 million per company. The catch? There needs to be a genuine commitment to sustainable practices; a PR gimmick yields few rewards.

These sustainable businesses tend to look more to the long-term for strategy and share a history of investment in other green industries. The Gort Cloud (think: Green+Oort Cloud) is a new theory about green brands' success in non-traditional media. Rather than paying for typical TV spots, they rely on a network of trendspotters, trade shows, magazines, NGOs (Sierra Club included), and a host of other sources that are all interested in getting those environmentally friendly products out there.

So even in this dark economic climate, the gloomy cloud can have a silver (or green) lining.

--Jordana Fyne

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