Sustainability as a Business Strategy (Nancy Landrum Commentary)

by Nancy Landrum  on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 12:00 am  

Nancy Landrum

The building design is curved to make the most efficient use of daylight, reducing the need for artificial light and conserving electricity. The building collects and stores rainwater in a 3,000-gallon tower for non-consumable use, such as flushing toilets and use in the cooling tower. Water is also conserved through the use of waterless urinals and through native landscaping that requires no irrigation.

Sustainability initiatives, however, don’t always require a big investment. At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a student project examined paper and toner use for one college on campus. The study concluded with sustainability-focused recommendations that could save the college 39 to 43 percent in paper and toner costs.

The UALR Sustainability Committee, a volunteer group of faculty, staff and students, recently installed two water bottle refilling stations on campus and launched a campaign encouraging the use of refillable water bottles. Through these initiatives, UALR has diverted more than 6,000 plastic bottles from landfills.

By adopting sustainability as part of your company-wide strategy, you can distinguish your company from competitors and gain a long-term competitive advantage. Remember, sustainability is about being a good citizen in terms of people, planet, profits and principles.

Nancy Landrum is an associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business. Email her at



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