White Papers


White Papers

ASBC has released several reports which take an in-depth look into important sustainability issues:

Clean Water in the Upper Mississippi River Basin: Economic Importance, Threats, and Opportunities

Water is one of our nation’s priceless resources, essential to life itself. Healthy ecosystems and a robust economy depend on plentiful, clean water — and unlike almost all other resources water has no substitute. It’s why businesses in all sectors support protecting clean water — whether as a direct component of their operations or simply to keep their communities and employees healthy. And in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB), clean water is big business. American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) has worked tirelessly to support legislation protecting and improving our clean water supplies. Read or download the complete report.

A Simple Fix for a $17 Billion Corporate Tax Loophole

Many U.S. businesses and families struggle to pay both their own basic bills and taxes for our shared infrastructure and services—while numerous corporations dodge state and federal taxes by shifting U.S. earnings to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. But states can recoup billions of dollars without help from Congress. A 2019 report, produced by ASBC, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), and SalesFactor.org, explains how state-level actions against tax dodging can make taxation fairer, empower broad-based prosperity and build a strong future. Read or download the complete report..

The Power of Sustainable Purchasing

Procurement of goods and services is necessary for every type of organization, but procurement by governments, large companies, and institutions also resonates throughout our supply chains and beyond. What we buy, and how we buy it, makes a big impact on local communities, the environment, and the economy. By making choices that consider this impact, our buying decisions will resonate positively throughout our supply chains and our world. Read or download the complete report.

The High Road Workplace: Route to a Sustainable Economy

High-road businesses see things differently than others. They see their employees, the communities in which they operate, and the products and services they provide as equally vital to their financial success. These companies look beyond next quarter’s report and take a long-term view of their firms as vehicles to create significant, positive business and social impact. This report describes what it means to be a high-road business, why it matters, and how policy can help incentivize more businesses adopt high-road practices. Read or download the complete report.

Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry

A 2015 report commissioned with the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, and developed by independent research firm Trucost, found a substantially higher market growth potential for safer chemicals than their conventional counterparts. Among the key findings, the report found that the market for safer chemicals is estimated to have 24 times the growth of conventional chemicals market worldwide from 2011 to 2020, with some sectors experiencing far higher growth.  Read or download the complete report. Watch the webinar on the report.

True Cost of Externalities

An economy based on conventional accounting methods, not reflective of true costs, is unsustainable and inefficient. Cultivating a sustainable economy depends on constructive interplay between business and government, and on how each handles externalities within its own operating realms. The scope and shape of public economic policy is largely determined by prevailing business sector goals and strategies.  Read or download the complete report.

Rethinking Fracking

While shale development is vital to current U.S. energy policy, a 2015 report found a number of ill effects associated with hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking). These include stressed local water supplies, health risks from toxic chemicals and emissions, and increased methane emissions that contribute to climate change—which itself poses a number of challenges to businesses. Read or download the complete report.

The Business Case for Green Building

Green building is the process of creating or retrofitting a building through an environmentally- and resource-mindful process, from conception to design and through operations and maintenance. The report describes market trends and projected economic activity resulting from the growth of green building construction and retrofitting, as well as its positive impact on the environment. The Business Case for Green Building

Municipal Primer on Climate Investing

Municipalities have many opportunities to promote ambitious action and policies to help to avoid a climate crisis. One major opportunity is the use of pension funds and investments to advance clean energy investment and fossil fuel divestment. This report lays out options for city and pension fund managers to use their power as investors to accelerate the clean energy transition.Read or download the complete report.