Corporate America Moving Sustainability Initiatives Forward
A 2009 study commissioned by Siemens Building Technologies and conducted by McGraw-Hill shows that three out of four executives view sustainability as consistent with their company’s profit mission and engage in sustainability activities, double the amount in 2006. Over half (58%) believe sustainability will serve the financial performance of their company, up from 31% in 2006.
The economic crisis has supported and not deterred sustainability activity in the firms represented in the study. Over half (57%) believe sustainability practices are either unaffected or aided by a down economy. Only 32% view an economic crisis as an obstacle.
Energy savings is the most important driver toward sustainability, with 75% citing it this year, and 73% in 2006. Government regulations decreased as a driver with only 29% citing it, down from 40% in 2006. However, 72% expect it to become a requirement.
Over 80% of larger firms believe sustainability provides market differentiation, and over 70% expect sustainability efforts to retain and attract customers and reduce the costs of doing business. Almost a third reported dedicated funding for sustainability.
Sixty-nine percent reported that their firm employs three or more sustainability practices. The most common sustainability practices are:
- Employee engagement/activities
- Green building
- Initiatives with NGOs/voluntary government programs
- Publication of annual sustainability reports