Sustainability is a higher priority now than it was in the
last year, with many thinking it “more important than ever”, according to a
survey of large UK businesses by Deloitte.
Environmental issues did not suffer as much as expected amid the economic
crisis and retained the attention of many executive boards in 2009, according to
the firm. However, it warns FDs that companies which do not make it a priority
now could find their businesses “marginalised” in the future.
In its report, Beyond the downturn: Does sustainability have a
future? Deloitte says many companies are opting for short-and-fast return
on investment in energy-efficient initiatives, deferring larger changes that
require significant capital expenditure. However, the majority of respondents
say they would rethink their environmental investment strategies following the
To become energy efficient, Deloitte recommends four areas where businesses
• Product and process innovation
• Informing and engaging with the customer
• Organisation and accountability, and
• External collaboration.
If those four areas are examined by businesses, then they will be the ones which
are recognised going forward, says Deloitte. “Our belief is that companies
focusing on these four areas and understanding the connections between them will
be those that are recognised for embedding sustainability at the heart of their
strategies in the future,” Deloitte concludes.
The firm surveyed businesses last Spring on their attitudes to sustainability
and has been consulting on what they can do to improve their environmental
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