Survey: Surge in Businesses Focus on Energy Efficiency

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by KnowESG
Picture of the world's largest solar farm, Bhadla, in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

The latest version of Futurum Research's global environmental sustainability index has been released. Futurum Research is an industry research, advisory, consulting, and media company that looks at new and market-disrupting technologies.

The report shows that companies prioritise energy efficiency and sustainability but are moving toward using technology solutions to achieve these goals rather than just modifying their processes.

Futurum Research, a subsidiary of The Futurum Group, produces a quarterly review of companies' progress on environmental sustainability. It also surveys business decision-makers on their thoughts and expectations for the future regarding sustainability projects.

The second report from Futurum Research, in partnership with Honeywell, surveyed 750 senior business professionals from large global companies in all industries. The survey results for Q1 2023 showed that companies plan to make changes to their sustainability strategy in the next year, including increasing their purchases of more efficient or sustainable technology.

Daniel Newman, principal analyst and founding partner at Futurum Research, said, "We said last quarter that process-driven change was a popular strategy, but now we're predicting more money will be spent on technology and upgrades. Despite global macroeconomic worries about a recession, geopolitical instability, and widespread reports of layoffs in the tech industry, companies are still committed to investing in effective technology solutions that can help them meet their environmental sustainability goals and greatly reduce their carbon footprints so that business and consumer contributors to climate change are reduced or eliminated."

The Environmental Sustainability Index looks at four main ways to make changes: saving energy, reducing emissions, preventing pollution, and recycling. Among some of the key findings:

  • Nearly 50% of organisations say they have been extremely successful with their environmental sustainability goals over the past 12 months, especially with recycling programs. The Asia-Pacific region is the best at saving energy, while programmes to reduce emissions in EMEA and Latin America have been successful.

  • Over the next six months, corporate leaders will prioritise sustainability goals (71%), digital transformation (56%), and market growth (47%). Interestingly, initiatives that dropped in priority from the prior quarterly survey were financial performance (from 62% to 46%) and workforce/talent development (from 46% to 37%).

  • Half of the organisations surveyed said they plan to spend more than 20% more on reducing emissions over the next 12 months. This is in addition to focusing on a more balanced approach that uses process change and new technology.

“Data from the survey is compelling as it shows very high levels of optimism that organisations expect to achieve their environmental goals set for the next 12 months,” Newman said. "And for the longer term, up to the year 2030, more than 40% of organisations expect success, while the very small amount of pessimism that was previously reported is going down."

The sustainability index from Futurum Research is a data-driven, quarterly survey of business professionals. It aims to measure the speed at which companies are implementing new processes and technologies for enhancing environmental sustainability and combating climate change. The survey is conducted using a double-blind method.

"The last quarterly study said there were still worries about the global pandemic, but those worries have lessened," said Shelly Kramer, principal analyst and founding partner at Futurum Research. “Now economic concerns are in the spotlight, but the responses from business leaders and sustainability programme managers clearly show a need to make a greater investment in upgrades and new technology.”

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