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or capturing easily attainable cost efﬁciencies. In the second quadrant are actions that go beyond the broad,
basic steps companies can take; these sustainability efforts make good business sense because they capture
unique opportunities or mitigate unique threats posed by near-term sustainability issues. Examples in this
category include the $500 million energy-efﬁcient retroﬁt of the Empire State Building in New York City, along
with improving resource productivity and eliminating waste across the supply chain, as Unilever and Wal-Mart
have sought to do.
In the third quadrant are actions geared toward capturing competitive advantage via sustainability. These
efforts include innovations and longer-term bets that are difﬁcult for competitors to imitate and that often
require organizational rewiring so that a company can achieve the full impact of its sustainability efforts.
Reimagining how products are made and used and what happens to them when they expire is an example
of a strategy in this category. The fourth quadrant encompasses future innovations that all companies can
undertake as long as they form broader alliances with external stakeholders and rethink economic frameworks,
because payoffs occur over a longer time frame. MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 02_BOSS_Report Exhibits_17-23 20
02_BOSS_Report Exhibits_17-23 20 20 9/9/09 7:08:17 AM
9/9/09 7:08:17 AM Exhibit 5. Sustainability Efforts Could Influence All the Levers That
Companies Use to C...
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- Spring '14