Manufacturers' Top Environmental Concerns Vary by Location

Sept. 12, 2007
U.S., Italy, Germany and Brazil view waste reduction as top concern while in China, Korea and India development of green products is the first priority.

Eight out of ten managers and professionals in the U.S., Brazil, Italy & Germany view reduction of waste as a higher priority than other environmental factors: such as increasing energy efficiency or developing green (environmentally friendly) products. While managers in China, Korea and India for example, consider the development of green (environmentally friendly) products as a more important driver than CO2 emissions, use of clean/renewable energy sources or waste reduction. These results are from a Harris Interactive study done for Dow Chemical of 1000 people.

Some highlights of the study include:

  • Environmental & sustainability programs have a strong influence on whether a company will be considered as a potential supplier. On average, eight out of ten companies globally say that environmental and sustainability factors are taken into account when they select suppliers. In India, one in two managers consider environment/sustainability factors of critical importance -- a significantly higher level than their counterparts in China (26%).
  • Company reputation is not seen as the main factor driving a company's decision making around environmental activities. In all countries surveyed (except Korea), the health, safety of employees, customers and suppliers was rated as the most important influence. Managers in Korea, viewed the long term sustainability of their business as the most important factor.
  • Companies in the Americas are more likely to have a dedicated team responsible for sustainability decision-making than companies in Asia or Europe.

"While the focus today may be on dealing with waste, in the future I anticipate we'll see more emphasis on areas such as CO2 emissions and use of renewable energy sources as the whole issue of climate change gets more attention," said Peter Cartwright, Dow Corning executive director for environment, health and safety.

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