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Deloitte Survey Finds 90% of Businesses Have Energy Management Goals

Businesses are intensifying their commitments to energy management practices, even as the U.S. economy shows signs of stabilizing, according to a new survey by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions.

The second annual reSources 2012 report says these goals are becoming more formalized, with 49% reporting formal goals, compared to 45% in the 2011. Cutting costs is still the primary motivation, reported by 66% of respondents, but internal motivations (56%) and “just the right thing to do” (49%) are also meaningful.

Companies, on average, are targeting reductions of 23-24% over a 3-4 year period across electricity, natural gas, carbon footprint and transport fleet investments, and they are making significant progress, saying they have achieved about 59% of their targets on average across the four categories.

However, the going is getting tougher, perhaps as the “low hanging fruit” has already been gathered. 69% believe cutting electricity costs/usage in the future is going to be much harder for their businesses, up from 56% in last year’s study. 62% of companies report that their energy management goals were somewhat difficult to achieve, virtually the same proportion (63%) as last year. But, 21% say their energy management goals were very or extremely difficult to achieve, compared to 13% in the 2011 survey.

85% of businesses view reducing electricity costs as essential to staying competitive from a financial perspective, compared to 76% in last year’s survey, while 81% view reducing electricity costs as essential to staying competitive from an image perspective, up 11 points. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses say their customers are demanding that they offer them more environmentally considerate solutions, up from about half (49%) in last year’s survey.

In addition to polling roughly 600 businesses, Deloitte also surveyed 2,200 households to better understand the consumer’s perspective. 94% of consumers say that even if the economy improves, they will remain cautious and keep their spending at current levels, virtually the same percentage (95%) that said so last year in the 2011 reSources study. 61% believe “going through the recession has ultimately been good because it makes us more efficient and reminds us what is important,” representing a 14 point lift over last year’s results (47%).


A separate survey of 250 senior executives released by Accenture this week reveals that 44 percent think sustainability is critical to their business and 78 percent say it is vital to their future growth. 

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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