Companies that have meaningful sustainable-business programs in place also tend to have more loyal, engaged and productive workers, writes Cory Vanderpool. That's easy to see at companies such as Google, where workers get locally sourced organic snacks, or at Patagonia, which allows workers to take leave to work for nonprofit groups -- but it's probably equally true in low-margin industries, Vanderpool writes. Less-flashy sustainability efforts, such as dairies that get their power from cow-generated methane, can also potentially bring substantial boosts in employee satisfaction, Vanderpool argues.

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