Construction study shows continued evolution of corporate sustainability
October 26, 2012 - According to the 2012 Greening of Corporate America study—issued by Siemens in conjunction with McGraw-Hill Construction—energy and cost savings remain the most important drivers encouraging sustainability in corporate America, while financial considerations such as the state of the economy and budget issues are the greatest obstacles to broader adoption.
By Anthony Capkun
The percentage of firms that are highly engaged in sustainability has risen from 18% in 2006 to 42%, while the percentage of firms viewing environmental initiatives as costs or required based on legal obligations alone fell from 33% in 2006 to 17% in 2012.
“Since 2006 we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how corporate sustainability is transforming business,” said Ari Kobb, director, Sustainability & Green Building Solutions, Siemens Building Technologies division. “In only six years, it has grown from being a fledgling concept to becoming a standard element of corporate strategy. Companies are no longer incorporating sustainability simply out of obligation.”
The 2012 study shows the Chief Sustainability Officer position continues to rise, as does the creation of dedicated sustainability budgets.
This is the third in a series of reports initiated in 2006 to investigate the emerging trend of corporate sustainability. The survey was conducted again this year to determine how corporate sustainability has continued to evolve and understand how America’s largest companies are institutionalizing sustainability into business policy and practice.