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Business for Good is Good Business

Back in 2014, I coined the slogan “Business for Good is Good Business.” Today, this statement resonates more profoundly than ever. It embodies the interconnection between profitability and positive social and environmental impact. The compelling case for Business for Good highlights significant business opportunities that align and strengthen commercial objectives rather than limit or diminish them. Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which we see how Business for Good is Good Business.


The Business for Good business case

Companies embracing a Business for Good approach tap into emerging growth markets and business case opportunities. This approach aligns with a commercial mindset, where sustainability is a strategic imperative for long-term success.

Syensqo is a strong example. Syensqo’s origin is in the historic science-based company Solvay, whose leadership pioneers strategic investments in science and innovation to develop sustainable solutions that meet market and customer demands. Focusing on sustainable, high growth markets like battery materials recycling and green hydrogen, Syensqo demonstrates a clear commitment to decarbonization. Through its commercial arm, Syensqo Ventures, the company partners with early-stage startups in sustainable sectors such as energy, cleantech, and biotech. Notably, Syensqo is on track to achieve its own carbon neutrality by 2040, with 65% of its global sites already powered by renewable electricity. Over 85% of Syensqo’s research and innovation revenue is expected to come from sustainable solutions, along with a 13% rise in sustainable growth based on circular economy principles.


Major market opportunities

Sustainable hot spots represent lucrative areas where businesses can thrive while making a positive impact. From renewable energy and circular economy initiatives to ethical fashion and clean technology, the possibilities are vast. As a reference point, investing in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents significant business opportunities for the private sector. The landmark 2017 Better Business, Better World report estimated that pursuing sustainable and inclusive business models could unlock economic opportunities worth more than $12 trillion a year by 2030 and generate up to 380 million jobs within key systems like food and agriculture, transportation, energy and materials, and health and well-being. These sectors comprise a huge segment – 60% of the real economy! Moreover, they are essential not only for achieving the SDGs, but also integral for driving markets. The total economic potential for Business for Good initiatives could be 2 to 3 times larger if benefits are realized economy-wide, alongside increased labor and resource productivity. It’s no surprise we are seeing strong Business for Good examples around the world. I’ll mention just a few exciting initiatives here.

As the worldwide demand for sustainable energy grows, Ormat Technologies (ORA) is tapping into solutions, particularly in the geothermal sector, which is gaining momentum globally. With 25 power plants worldwide spanning various regions, including Central America, the United States, Southeast Asia, and Africa, ORA is strategically positioned to meet this increasing demand. Its innovative approach to designing, building, and operating geothermal power plants, coupled with impressive revenue growth and expansion efforts, underscores its prominence in the industry. Additionally, ORA’s products segment notably committed to expanding its portfolio and reaching ambitious goals, thereby experiencing an 87% revenue surge compared to 2022. This forward progress has resulted in a backlog of $152 million this year that sets it on track to reach the target of 2.3GW by 2026. ORA is dedicated to both financial success and contributing to the clean energy transition, making it a strong Business for Good case in the renewable energy sector.

Biome Makers, headquartered in California, is an example of an agtech and biotech startup addressing food shortages. The company capitalizes on the growing demand for sustainable agricultural solutions by integrating soil microbiology into farming practices, thus addressing critical issues of agricultural sustainability. Through its innovative approach, Biome Makers not only taps into a burgeoning market for agtech and biotech but also contributes significantly to environmental and social impact. The impressive business proposition is revitalizing over 1 million acres of land and improving farmers’ livelihoods worldwide. By aligning financial success with positive social and environmental outcomes, Biome Makers exemplifies a clear Business for Good case in the agtech industry.

As far as transportation goes, Tesla’s disruption of the automotive industry with electric vehicles (EVs) is a prime example of a company leveraging market opportunities to showcase the potential for innovation and profitability in sustainable solutions. Even though the company has encountered controversy in terms of battery materials mining and recycling practices, Tesla sets a new carbon standard in the automotive industry as its Model S and X drivers have saved over 340 million pounds of GHGs since 2012. By incorporating a Business for Good approach into every aspect of their vehicles, Tesla’s success and influence has shifted the industry’s transition toward sustainable transportation and created unprecedented market growth across sectors.


Future markets

Next generations represent an evolving market with distinct values and preferences. As Gen Zs and Millennials are prioritizing sustainability and social responsibility, their actions are simultaneously increasingly influencing consumption patterns and promoting growth markets. Next gens currently make up approximately 38% of the global workforce, which will rise to about 58% by 2030. For this sector of the population, Business for Good is a top priority because they recognize the urgent need to address pressing environmental and social challenges while also ensuring sustainable economic growth. They understand that businesses have a significant impact on society and the planet, and they seek to leverage their influence to drive positive change and create a better future for all. Businesses that anticipate and cater to these preferences will gain a competitive edge in this growing market.

For younger Gen Z and Millennial employees, a sense of purpose plays an important role in the decision to join a company. Recent research, including a study by Cone Communications, found that 64% of Millennials will not take a job with a company that lacks a strong sustainability strategy and 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. Similarly, a study by WeSpire found that Gen Z is the first generation to prioritize companies’ purpose to implement Business for Good over salary.

Beyond Meat, a California-based sustainable food company founded in 2009, caters to the next gen market. It achieves the Business for Good agenda by supplying vegan meat alternatives globally and promoting plant-based foods as sustainable options in the food and agriculture sector. Their popular product, the plant-based burger, offers a viable alternative for vegans and those seeking to reduce meat consumption while still enjoying traditional foods. With a mission to encourage the transition to vegan options, Beyond Meat aims to address the environmental impact of factory meat farming, which accounts for 90% of emissions in the industry. As a meat alternative, Beyond Meat uses 97% less land and water and almost 40% less non-renewable energy than traditional meat production.

Next gen founded companies are also ensuring that Business for Good is implemented into the fabric of the organizational structure. Software development company Analog Teams was created to focus on hiring talent from underrepresented communities. The startup netted seven figures in revenue and expanded into six African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Also notable, two Gen Z entrepreneurs launched August, a New York City-based company that creates sustainable, plastic-free women’s hygiene products. They have reached over $1 millionin revenue thanks to the social strategy of posting 100 times per day.


Business for Good is a lucrative business strategy. By aligning commercial objectives with societal and environmental impact, companies can unlock new markets, drive innovation, and secure long-term success. As the world experiences a paradigm shift in the way we operate, embracing Business for Good makes both business sense as well as sustainability sense. Let’s seize the opportunity to create a better world, while at the same time reap the rewards of sustainable growth. Business for Good is Good Business.