The results include the expected as well as the surprising. To begin, within an organization, the CEO is by far the leading champion of green ventures. However, the motivations behind this differ, as organizational leaders are polarized in their perception of going green: it is viewed as either a moral/ethical obligation, or an advantage for growth. Interestingly, significantly more organizational leaders below the CEO level, such as vice presidents or directors, actually perceive going green as more of a growth opportunity than CEOs do (34% vs. 23%).
“Whether morally-driven or growth-focused, going green is still top of mind for most organizations,” explains Tanya Fowler, Director of Competitive Benchmarking Services, Frost & Sullivan.
Frost & Sullivan's Going Green survey goes on to measure both current and future green initiatives underway within organizations. Not surprisingly, the most popular proposal seems to be the incorporation of green concepts into product design (41% for current, 60% for future), followed by the creation of green-branded products or services.
The majority of respondents also indicated that their companies' rates of investment in green initiatives are expected to increase. Additionally, according to the survey, the primary compelling drivers for going green are a potential competitive advantage (69%), a growth opportunity for the company (67%), or general corporate social responsibility (62%).
However, as might be expected, the biggest challenge to going green is cost, as roughly half of the respondents recognize the investment challenge that incorporating environmental/green strategies can bring.
“Given the potential benefits and seemingly positive support by investors, executives and employees,” continues Fowler, “more and more organizations may attempt to overcome the primary challenge of costs in order to achieve success in an increasingly green environment.”
The results of this survey were first delivered publicly at Frost & Sullivan's premier client event, Growth, Innovation & Leadership: A Frost & Sullivan Global Congress on Corporate Growth, held September 14-17, 2008 in San Francisco.
The survey was conducted by Frost & Sullivan's Competitive Benchmarking Services group, a division of the customer research team that conducts independent, non-sponsored research among end-users to evaluate and measure companies and trends in the market. Specifically, Competitive Benchmarking Services surveys respondents that are deemed experts in the wide range of industries that Frost & Sullivan supports.
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