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Public, Executives Doubt Companies’ Environmental Commitment

Only 21 percent of the American public and 25 percent of executives believe the majority of businesses are making efforts at sustainability, according to the 2012 Gibbs & Soell Sense & Sustainability Study.

But while the percentages may seem low, they’re an improvement over 2010’s figure of 16 percent.

The third annual study by global business communications firms Gibbs & Soell, conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed 2,211 US adults and 303 corporate executives on their perception of corporate America’s effort to “go green.” The study defined “going green” as improving the health of the environment by implementing more sustainable business practices and/or offering environmentally friendly products or services.

In the survey, 21 percent of business executives said their company employs a team of individuals dedicated to sustainability, up from 17 percent in 2011 and 13 percent in 2010. But 34 percent of executives say no one at their company is responsible for “going green” initiatives, up from 25 percent in 2011.

Despite their skepticism, 71 percent of consumers surveyed want to know more about what companies are doing to become sustainable and green. Seventy-five percent said they feel the media are more likely to report on green business when the news is bad rather than positive.

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