The mandate to conserve water from the governor of California is seen by many businesses as harmful to their bottom lines, but an entrepreneur in the Golden State is making a different case.
Elliot Hoffman maintains that as water flows less freely, profits will flow stronger for many small and mid-sized companies. He describes the drought as an opportunity to adopt sustainability practices and procedures, which can boost profits.
Hoffman is the co-founder and CEO of REV, based in San Francisco.
"One of the things that we're out to do is to destroy the myth that sustainability costs you money,” Hoffman stresses. “Sustainability will actually make you money, reduce your costs and reduce waste."
He explains that using less water, electricity and other resources saves money. Another layer of sustainability is establishing connections with local communities and bringing them benefits, which Hoffman sees as a strong role and purpose for businesses in the 21st century.
Hoffman's company has been helping businesses embed sustainability and improve employee engagement, through a peer-learning program called Sustainability Circles. He says the outcomes are detailed sustainability action plans for each organization.
"With very specific initiatives, specific metrics like, 'Here's the investments you're going to need to make,’” he explains. “’Here's the returns on those investments – the payback, the savings you're going to accrue’ in water, waste, energy, money and so on."
REV has helped more than 130 businesses with sustainability plans, mostly in California, but Hoffman says his firm is ready to help companies nationwide.
He says the average projected annual savings for each organization is more than $280,000.
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