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Sustainability: It’s Not About Tree-Hugging

Delivering a Concrete Competitive Advantage

January 27, 2011
In This Interview
Knut Haanæs, Partner & Managing Director
Global Leader, Strategy Practice

Career Highlights

Knut is a partner and managing director in the Geneva office and the global leader of BCG’s Sustainability practice.

He started working at BCG in 2000 and is also a member of the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice and the Strategy practice.


Sustainability tends to get a lot of positive press coverage. Who can argue with the principle that it’s good to save the planet? But in some boardrooms, sustainability has often been dismissed as a diversion from the core purpose of a business: making money and serving the interests of the shareholders. But CEOs—at least, the smart ones—are starting to think again. According to the second annual innovation and sustainability survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review, corporate investment in environmentally aware strategies is on the rise. Why now? Simon Targett, BCG’s editor in chief, spoke with Knut Haanæs—global leader of BCG’s Sustainability Initiative and a coauthor of the report on the survey conducted with MIT Sloan Management Review—to discuss why companies are increasingly viewing sustainability-driven strategies as a worthy investment of time and money.