Sustainability is still a priority for global organisations despite the recession, according to a new study commissioned by Oracle.
The study, “Sustainable Performance Management” by The Future Laboratory follows on from the 2008 report “The Shape of Tomorrow’s Supply Chain”.
It found that 92 per cent of respondents say that sustainability remains a business priority but ‘Easy wins’ still dominate. Last year’s survey highlighted cherry picking as a cause for concern, a trend that continues in this survey – 71 per cent are concentrating efforts on lowering waste and 65 per cent cutting energy usage
The research shows 62 per cent want to allow staff to make better and more sustainable operational decisions and detailed analysis of carbon hotspots can tease out a true picture of supply-chain inefficiencies.
The study also showed that other organisations are beginning to focus sustainability as a way to improve their business – a third of respondents said it helps them to create a clearer picture of their business. They recognised that initiatives such as cutting air freight, promoting video conferencing and slashing energy usage can save money and reduce carbon footprint.
Additionally 56 per cent of businesses surveyed said increasing climate change-related regulation and standards were a stimulus to work on sustainability measures. With the Carbon Reduction Commitment coming into force April 2010, mandating around 5,000 UK firms to report on their carbon emissions and the Climate Change Act potentially enforcing regulation by 2012, more organisations accept the imperative to act is now.
Companies said there were difficulties in finding, collating and analysing data relevant to sustainability. Some 53 per cent said an ability to collect data from internal sources was a major barrier to effective reporting and 33 per cent ranked data collation and 45 per cent ranked presentation as very difficult. However, the research showed that 37 per cent wanted to reduce their carbon footprint to zero in the future.