Energy efficiency (94 percent), followed by waste reduction and environmental impact (both 78 percent), are the first things that corporations consider when they decide to pursue a “sustainable” production environment, according to a new report (registration required) from Aberdeen Research.
About 72 percent of corporations associate sustainable production with reuse and recycling, according to the report.
Using Del Monte Foods, the canned fruit and vegetable company, as a case study, the report noted that Del Monte is focusing its sustainability efforts on effectively using its input resources, recycling solid waste and packaging, and social responsibility measures.
Del Monte is undertaking these changes because of changing expectations from shareholders, who expect the company to operate with more transparency. To accomplish this, the company set up a corporate responsibility team at the vice president and director levels.
In addition to formalizing a sustainability program, Aberdeen suggests getting executive-level company leaders involved in the process, as well as immediately starting an automated data collection system that serves as the basis for all sustainability decisions moving forward.
“Best in class” firms are twice as likely as “laggards” to establish roles within departments related to sustainability, the report notes. “Best in class” firms are three times as likely to create a chief sustainability officer or related position.