Corporate Chief Officers and Businesses Taking Sustainability Measures: Is it the new plan?
The decision to “E-Cycle” has grown to the minds of companies, driven by financial considerations and other core business objectives, according to a recent survey of corporate leaders Ernst& Young and Greenbiz Group. Environmentalists have long possessed the idea to use sustainability to preserve resources. Currently, it seems as if large and growing businesses are now catching on to the idea of going “green.”
The report, Six growing trends in corporate sustainability, discusses this and several other developments in sustainability.
With sustainability kept in mind, chief financial officers are playing increasing roles in their companies’ sustainability efforts.
• 65% of CFO’s are now directly involved in company sustainability efforts
• 80% of respondents see a decrease in choosing to participate in their company sustainability efforts
• 74% said cost reductions primary motivations for their sustainability programs
• 66% have seen an increase in inquiries about sustainability in the past 12 months from investors and shareholders
Despite regulatory skepticism, especially in the United States, most companies report their greenhouse gas emissions, and more companies are realizing the level of importance to consistently measure and their water usage.
• 76% publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions
• An additional 16% plan to take action within the next 5 years
• 62% publicly report their water usage
• More than 50% have a water- reduction goal
This survey was conducted in late 2011, which had collected responses from 272 sustainability executives in 24 industry sectors who employed by companies with annual revenue greater than $1 billion. Roughly 85% of them are based in the United States. The respondents are from companies that are just beginning to engage in sustainability as well as those that have been engaged for years.
The report concludes:
These trends suggest that sustainability efforts are now well implemented in large and growing businesses in the United States and in other countries. On another note, the effectiveness of these efforts might also be limited by internal systems that don’t allow companies to effectively measure, track, and optimize their sustainability progression or to understand and manage the risks of insufficient action. To do so will require levels of engagement by the C-Suite and more sophisticated tactics of sustainability reporting and assurance.