Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The Zero Waste Decision: Altruistic or Strategic?


School of Accounting


Seidman College of Business

Date Range



Companies today are faced with pressure from environmentalists, regulators, and even investors to be more environmentally conscious. Those firms which embrace sustainable development are adding goals and objectives to their vision statements reflecting their commitment. One of the methods firms are using to become more sustainable is reducing waste to the point of becoming zero waste facilities. In this paper, I look at the means employed by various companies to achieve their goal of zero waste. Where possible, I gather information on the costs and benefits of engaging in waste reduction activities in an attempt to determine why firms choose this course of action, that is, whether are they acting for the good of the global community or strategically, for their investors. Few firms report the actual costs or savings of their sustainable efforts directly, requiring me to use sustainability reports, company websites, and media articles about the companies. What I find is that while firms may start the process for altruistic motives, they are finding that what is good for people and planet is also good for profits.

Conference Name

IMA's 92nd Annual Conference & Exposition

Conference Location

Orlando, FL

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