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Sustainability Execs Say Green Spending Increasing, Despite Economy

Eighty percent of corporate sustainability executives surveyed from across North America plan to maintain or increase levels of sustainability-related spending in 2009, despite the current economic conditions, according to Panel Intelligence’s Quarterly Sustainability Tracking Study.

The survey data was compiled the first week of November 2008, before the election, and found that despite a declining U.S. economy and lower oil prices, corporate investment in energy efficiency remains strong.

Responses were analyzed from 65 sustainability executives of Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Sustainability and clean technology spending – as a percentage of corporate revenues – is expected to increase 73 percent through 2010.
  • Eighty-two percent of respondents rated energy efficiency as the most important area of current focus and investment.
  • Corporate spending on sustainable waste management initiatives is expected to grow by 20 percent in 2009, the highest percentage increase of any subcategory.
  • Cost savings, revenue generation and brand strength are the most important drivers of environmental and clean technology initiatives.
  • Nearly 55 percent of respondents observe no financial criteria (i.e. ROI, payback period) when evaluating sustainability projects for their respective organizations.
  • A majority of respondents believe capital remains available for sustainability projects.
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