TENSIE WHELAN | Clinical Professor for Business and Society and founder and Director, Center for Sustainable Business,
Stern School of Business, New York University
ELYSE DOUGLAS | Senior Scholar, Center for Sustainable Business, Stern School of Business, New York University
CHISARA EHIEMERE | Senior Research Lead, Return on Sustainability Investment (ROSI™), Center for Sustainable Business, Stern School of Business, New York University
Managing for the material environmental and social issues affecting business today requires new strategies, practices, and tools. Our research explores how to best understand and track the financial return on sustainability investments, to assist companies with their decision making, and improve their bottom-line as well as their societal impact. In this article, we explore the strategies and benefits associated with sustainable agriculture and provide case studies of how companies and farmers have benefited from sustainable sourcing, biodiversity protection, water conservation, and regenerative agriculture practices. We see consistent benefits in the form of operational efficiencies, risk mitigation, innovation and growth, customer loyalty and sales, employee retention, and productivity, amongst other drivers. In fact, sustainable business practices throughout the value chain could be characterized as driving the next wave of total quality management, and the methodology can be useful to most industry sectors.