Despite Recession, Corporate America is Investing in Sustainability Practices

Dec. 2, 2009
Three out of four firms view sustainability as consistent with their profit missions.

Corporate America has in fact integrated standard sustainability practices, including recycling, green building, employee engagement, and partnering with non-profits into their cultures and everyday operations. A recent report, "2009 Greening of Corporate America" reveals that corporations across the U.S. continue to accelerate sustainability efforts and increase efficiencies as standard operating procedure. In fact, the percentage of firms at the highest levels of engagement doubles over the past three years, growing from 18% off firms to 37%.

Commissioned by the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc., the new report builds on data gathered for a similar 2006 study also conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction Research & Analytics. In the 2006 report, research demonstrated that a fundamental shift was occurring in the attitudes and practices of our nations leading corporations when it came to the greening of their operations and their role as active stewards of the environment. The study indicated that corporate America was approaching a tipping point, one in where the nations most prominent business leaders were beginning to embrace sustainability and energy efficiency and make it an integral part of their corporate strategy -- more the rule, rather than the exception.

The 2009 studys findings confirm that the leaders of our countrys largest and most influential organizations are firmly committed to sustainability as a strategic imperative. "Despite the recession, firms continue to invest in sustainable practices and are incorporating them into business their strategies at an escalating pace," said Building Technologies' Brad Haeberle, vice president and Sustainability Council chair.

Highlights of the study include:

  • The economic crisis has supported, rather than deterred, sustainability activity; 57% of those polled believe sustainability practices are either unaffected or aided by the down economy.
  • Three out of four firms view sustainability as consistent with their profit missions. They expect that green practices tied to core business strategies will reduce energy costs (75%), retain and attract customers (70%), provide market differentiation (64%) and serve the financial performance of the company (58%).

To view the study and assess your own organizations level of Corporate Sustainability Commitment, visit:

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