The 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study, conducted by the Manufacturing Performance Institute, says that 59.2 percent of manufacturers now rate sustainability as important or highly important to there success. This figure is up from 35.1 percent in 2009.
Many of these manufacturers are responding to customer demands for greener products, others cite cost-control opportunities such as reduced energy consumption and the re-use of materials as reason for their commitment to sustainability, the report says.
Furthermore, according to the report 27.5 percent of manufacturers now see themselves as near or at a “world-class” level of sustainability, up 7.4 percentage points from 2009. However 11.3 percent of business surveyed said they had made zero progress towards world-class sustainability.
In September, a joint survey by three major accountancy trade bodies found sustainability a growing priority among small business.
The survey found that 23 percent of smaller companies have plans to formulate a sustainability strategy in the next two years, and 33 percent have a sustainability strategy in place already.