Even with the current US administration attempting to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations, 71% of respondents to a survey conducted by Lucid and Urjanet continue to be committed to sustainability, reducing energy use, and improving overall performance of the built environment.
The 2017 Sustainability Outlook Report: Sustainability in the Age of Trump, a survey of sustainability professionals, facilities managers, and building operators, also found that almost one-quarter (24%) of organizations increased their commitment to sustainability in the face of new federal administration.
Other key findings include:
- Corporate respondents cited commitment to their corporate mission and to business performance as the two primary motivating factors for their continued focus on sustainability, with reporting compliance, industry recognition, and employee satisfaction close behind. 50% cite sustainability as part of their corporate mission.
- 73% of surveyed organizations expect their commitment to sustainability to remain the same in 2017, and 21% plan to increase their commitment.
- 46% of those surveyed believe their sustainability budgets will remain unchanged in 2017, and 29% of private company respondents expect an increase in budget.
“These results reflect a growing understanding in the private sector of the impact sustainability initiatives have not only on the environment, but on the bottom line,” said Will Coleman, CEO of Lucid.
Sanjoy Malik, CEO of Urjanet, echoed Coleman’s remarks, saying, “What we see here in the survey results is very much aligned with the conversations we have and continue to have with our customers and partners. The sentiment towards more corporate accountability with regards to environmental resource management is one that we will continue to support alongside our partners, like Lucid.”
The survey results reflect the public response from companies after President Trump signed his executive order to turn back the Clean Power Plan: hundreds, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, said that pursuing a low-carbon future was good for their businesses and their brands. “Strong clean energy and climate policies, like the Clean Power Plan, can make renewable energy supplies more robust and address the serious threat of climate change while also supporting American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” the tech giants said in response to the executive order signed last week.
Backing up the show of continued support for sustainability, several companies have recently announced their initiatives for the near future. H&M, in its Sustainability Report 2016, outlined many new goals including a commitment to use 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030 and to become climate positive throughout its entire value chain by 2040. And Newmont Mining Corp. this week unveiled its 2016 sustainability highlights, which described how the company implemented a supplier code of conduct that commits suppliers to ethical, safe, and socially and environmentally responsible conduct.