Investing in sustainability: competitive advantage or just another expense?

Submitted by Carina Lima on Wed, 06/01/2016 - 19:03
Investing in sustainability: competitive advantage or just another expense?


Understand how investments in sustainable actions enhance reputation, cost reduction, and social and environmental awareness for companies and their employees. 


Does your company still see investments in sustainability just as an obligation? Does it understand sustainable practices as cost and not value generation? To put sustainability in the center of business strategy not only contributes to improving the company’s reputation from the consumer’s view, but can also generate profit. In the energy and utilities management scenario, sustainable management can reduce costs by gaining efficiency in processes and reducing energy inputs consumption.

Research conducted by the Brazilian Industry Confederation (CNI) in 2015 interviewing 100 medium and large Brazilian companies revealed that 59 percent of entrepreneurs believe that investing in sustainability generates business opportunities, and 66 percent adopted actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Also read Triple Bottom Line: sustainability and energy efficiency.

 Acquisition of certifications as an investment in sustainability 

Whether to reduce impacts in the environment, enhance competitiveness in the international market, or due to pressures of the market itself, companies increasingly search for certifications that validate the sustainability of their operations and products.  

Certifications such as ISO 14001 and the recent ABNT standard, which measures companies’ carbon footprint, focus on improving sustainable management. The ISO standard aims for reductions in the amount of residue generated in the company’s processes, and efficiency in the use of energy inputs, which lead to direct reductions in operational costs. The carbon footprint certification is dedicated to reducing environmental impacts by measuring carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), and the water volume used in production processes.

Sustainable management of energy and utilities as an ally of competitiveness

 In the context of energy management, sustainable management can reduce costs through efficiency gains in processes and through reduction of consumption of energy inputs. 

A system of energy and utilities management is a strategic tool not only for the energy management teams, but also for the area of sustainability, since it enables the monitoring of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) as well as of solid and liquid waste. 

It is also a strategic tool for certification and maintenance of standards oriented toward best practices of energy management, environmental control, and emissions reduction since it facilitates the planning, monitoring, and reporting of information in addition to implementing practices of continuous improvement, risk mitigation, and environmental and social impact. 

Also read ISO 50001 Certification: concepts and application in companies 


The Emissions Management module of the Viridis Platform promotes comprehensive control of greenhouse gas emsisions as well as of solid and liquid waste from operations of any size and complexity. The system also monitors and manages the entire balance of energy and mass. Emissions can be measured directly or calculated by equivalence from conversion rules applied to the variables of energy consumption. 

Viridis still gives complete support to the execution of practices advocated by the ISO 14001 standard, helping the company to maintain the expected environmental performance, as well as to acquire or maintain its certification by an appropriate external organization. The configuration of rules of equivalent emissions, the establishment of goals and indicators of environmental performance, and the execution of cycles of continuous improvement are essential elements to ensure compliance with the standards and the realization of the sustainable vision of the organization. 

Click here and see detailed information about all of the functions of the Viridis system. 

Marketing Coordinator, Viridis Energy

Marketing Coordinator at Viridis, holds undergraduate degree in Event Management and a graduate degree in Marketing and Communications, certified in Inbound Marketing by Hubspot, with great experience in digital marketing, corporate event production, content marketing, copywriting, planning, and SaaS sales.

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