Reducing Energy Consumption Seen No. 1 Corporate Environmental Priority

AMR survey shows green issues gaining ground as companies look to do well while doing good

Boston — March 7, 2007 — A company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is increasingly viewed as a key measure of its strength, and green issues are rising in priority as companies look to do well while doing good, according to the results of a recent survey from AMR Research.

The AMR survey of 150 companies in the United States and three major European economies — the United Kingdom, Germany and France — point to the rising importance of environmental initiatives as part of CSR strategies. In particular, AMR found that programs to reduce a company's overall energy consumption as being a top initiative for companies pursuing CSR programs.

"Clearly, reducing energy usage has a double payoff: a big operating cost reduction while also reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions — two objectives that are directly correlated," write Derek Prior and Nigel Montgomery, authors of the report on the survey, entitled "Reducing Energy Consumption No. 1 Corporate Environmental Priority, Worldwide Survey Shows."

Increasing Scrutiny

Prior and Montgomery write that companies are ramping up their CSR efforts even as various stakeholders — including employees, customers, partners and shareholders — as well as the public, press and advocacy groups increase their scrutiny of corporate social responsibility programs.

Overall, AMR's survey found that 70 percent of respondents were "actively engaged" in various environmental initiatives. "Growing consumer concern for global warming in particular is one of the biggest drivers behind the rise of environmental 'green issues' up the corporate agenda," the analysts write.

The survey did reveal differences in U.S. and European perceptions of the programs. U.S. companies were more likely to view their "green investments" as being a critical factor to their companies' overall success, and U.S. executives also were more likely to anticipate that their enterprises would derive some competitive advantage from the CSR initiatives, including improved customer satisfaction, product innovation and agility.

Green Alert

AMR's report on the survey outlines several areas where companies are focusing their environmental initiatives, with different industries targeting disparate "pain points," ranging from gaseous emissions to liquid waste. But the greatest number of enterprises were focusing on reducing their overall energy consumption, which not only can reduce a company's CO2 footprint but also drive savings directly to the bottom line.

With interest rising in environmental issues as they relate to their business, AMR Research recently launched its Green Technology Service, intended to generate content and analysis on the business benefits of green innovation in energy, transportation, water, materials and buildings, plus recycling and remediation.

The service produces Green Alert, a biweekly publication that presents case studies on global businesses that have already realized the economic gains associated with adoption of green technology.

More information is available at the AMR Web site.