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Share The Dollar Payoff from CSR and Sustainability

If investors needed proof of the financial value from sustainability -- it's here.

Researchers at the Harvard Business School reviewed 18 years of data on more than 700 companies. Their findings were remarkable. "High sustainability" companies have not only been more profitable than their less responsible peers, their shares have performed significantly better.

The numbers are impressive. One dollar invested in the most sustainable companies in 1993 was worth $22.60 by the end of 2010. The low sustainability group was worth "just" $15.40.

"This finding suggests that companies can adopt environmentally and socially responsible policies without sacrificing shareholder wealth creation,” the authors conclude. “In fact, the opposite appears to be true: sustainable firms generate significantly higher profits and stock returns, suggesting that developing a corporate culture of sustainability may be a source of competitive advantage for a company in the long-run.”

Read more at Strategy + Business