Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Buffett: Beware of environmental "shortcuts"

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor
Buffett: Beware of environmental "shortcuts" JEFFREY S. BOWEN

Well-run companies that fill a lasting need and do the least damage to the environment are known to be the kind of businesses that Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett likes to acquire.

When he paid $43 billion for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Buffett noted, in one of his rare public interviews, that freight trains are "the most environmentally friendly way of moving goods."

Essentially restating his formula for success both as a businessman and a protector of the planet, Buffet said in a report posted Monday on the website of Berkshire's Johns Manville building products subsidiary: "Taking shortcuts is not the pathway to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, nor is it an avenue toward satisfying customers. A company must invest in the key ingredients of profitability: its people, communities, and the environment."