The Business Week cover story "Little Green Lies" implies that many sustainable practices aren't having the effect on the bottom line that they had intended. The article also pokes significant holes in the practice of third-party carbon offsetting.
At the same time, a separate three-year study is demonstrating that companies who apply certain climate-friendly policies are seeing increases in their business and financial performance.
Which story is right?
Probably depends on the details. If companies focus on saving the environment by changing infrastructure, buying new vehicle fleets, and other strategies that create a significantly higher footprint before they start to generate a reduction, then pay-off is hard to find.
But the sustainability world is increasingly full of ways to reduce costs and carbon footprint quickly, inexpensively, and with a very fast payback. PC power management, for example, is being adopted by organizations worldwide as a fast, easy and proven way to reduce costs immediately, while dramatically cutting IT carbon emissions.