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Corporations across the U.S. must amplify sustainability efforts and increase efficiencies, especially given President Obama's focus on making America the 21st-century clean energy leader. A new report from Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction, the 2009 Greening of Corporate America Report, shows that corporate America has in fact embraced standard sustainability practices, such as recycling, building green, focusing on employee engagement, and partnering with non-profits, as "business as usual." Seventy-six percent of firms have made significant commitments to sustainability, and as a result, the firms of tomorrow must be innovative in their sustainability plans to stand out in the market and gain a competitive advantage.
Commissioned by Siemens Building Technologies and conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction Research & Analytics, the report follows a similar 2006 study and provides comparative statistics, trend analysis, and thought-leader interviews with corporate sustainability officers at Microsoft, AT&T, and Owens Corning. Notable highlights include:
· 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 percent), retain and attract customers (70 percent), and provide market differentiation by contributing to the financial performance of the company (61 percent).
· The economic crisis has supported, rather than deterred, sustainability activity; 57 percent of those polled believe sustainability practices are either unaffected or aided by the down economy.
"Our goal with the study was to track corporate America's progress in moving along the sustainability path and to understand how far companies have evolved, the key motivators and the impact of the current economic challenges on sustainability initiatives," said Daryl Dulaney, CEO of Siemens Building Technologies, a business unit of engineering conglomerate, Siemens AG. "We wanted to identify some of the key factors influencing sustainability, so companies can take action in meeting their sustainability goals."
"It is exciting to see what a difference three years can make," said Harvey M. Bernstein, vice president of industry analytics, alliances and strategic initiatives at McGraw-Hill Construction. "Our first report with Siemens in 2006 tracked the rise of the green movement, and today we see the substantial changes occurring in the U.S. as most CEOs recognize the business value sustainability provides. Despite the recession, firms are investing in sustainable practices and incorporating them into business strategies."
For more information or to download a free copy of the report, visit http://construction.com/market_research/.