Atrius released its first State of Corporate Sustainability Report, a survey of sustainability and energy leaders that reveals sustainability and technology have intersected to create a new megatrend—an effort to minimize the impacts of climate change while maximizing the impacts of technology.
The report analyzes how organizations create, enact, and communicate sustainability goals. It reflects the experience and insight of 300+ industry professionals working at respected organizations in multiple sectors.
“Corporate America is developing an ethos that embraces pursuing commercial success while also taking a leadership role in protecting the global environment,” said Adam Handler, Director, Corporate Sustainability and Communications, Acuity Brands. “With proposed federal regulations that may require publicly traded companies to provide emissions transparency and reporting, there is a strong business case for integrating sustainability across organizational processes.
“This year’s survey respondents no longer view energy management as the destination, but rather the first of many crucial steps on the journey to sustainability towards the long-term goal of Net Zero operation.”
The new study, which builds on previous data collected by Atrius in partnership with Smart Energy Decisions, identifies positive trends toward sustainability goals with 60% of the respondents reporting being “on track” or “ahead” in their goals.
However, the study also shows varying levels of maturity on the corporate sustainability journey, with 38% saying that they are “behind” or “just getting started.” Challenges cited include budget constraints and ill-defined ROI that continue to hamper implementation efforts. Unrealistic expectations also narrow the timeframe for the sustainability journey— successful outcomes with early “low-hanging fruit” projects inadvertently position sustainability as a one-time sprint versus an ongoing marathon. Another challenge is data quality issues, which may create a barrier to sustainability success.
Atrius, which is part of Acuity Brands, Inc., will host a webinar Wednesday, Feb. 1 to review the report with an expert panel discussing its key findings and shifting perspectives.