Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

Maybe It Is Easy Being Green

Developments to Watch


DOES IT PAY TO BE GREEN? PIONEERS SUCH AS DUPONT, Dow Chemical, and Procter & Gamble have insisted for years that they reap big savings by preventing pollution instead of trying to control emissions after the fact. Still, the notion that pollution prevention is a financial boon has plenty of doubters.

Now, a study by Stuart L. Hart, director of the corporate environmental management program at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor business school, makes a strong case for pollution prevention. Hart did a statistical analysis of the effects of pollution cutbacks in 1988 and 1989 on financial performance from 1988 to 1991, using 127 companies from the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. After accounting for variables such as research and development intensity and size, his findings show that operating performance began to improve within the first year--and by the second year, pollution prevention was lifting return on equity, too. Of course, the biggest polluters benefited most, since they had plenty of low-cost opportunities on hand.

Based on this work, Hart believes most companies could slash emissions as much as 70% before hitting a point of diminishing returns. But since that might take 10 years, improvements in technology could mean that what isn't cost-effective today might be by then.EDITED BY OTIS PORT

blog comments powered by Disqus