As reported in a study by the Symbola Foundation, an environmental sustainability certification brings benefits in operations, financial performance, customer relations, vendor relations, community relations and government relations.

Reviewing certified SMEs versus non-certified, it reported that environmentally certified sustainable SMEs grew 20x (4% v 0.2%) their non-certified peers.  This included a +75% revenue growth differential for certified sustainable SMEs.

A key point was the slow adoption of environmental sustainability certification for SMEs.  With larger companies, most already have a certified environmental sustainability program, so competitive differentiation is harder.  But, with SMEs, adoption of environmental sustainability certification has been slower, so the opportunity for certified companies to competitively differentiate versus their non-certified peers has been greater.