To increase their budgets for environmental sustainability next year
Honeywell, a provider of industrial products, solutions, and technologies, has just released its Environmental Sustainability Index, which reveals that the vast majority of companies plan to increase investments in environmental sustainability initiatives in the coming year. Still, many executives lack confidence in their ability to meet their near- and mid-term sustainability goals.
Honeywell created the index to provide insight into how business leaders see their firms' progress toward their sustainability targets. Honeywell polled approximately 650 people directly involved in the planning, strategy development, implementation, or oversight of environmental sustainability goals and projects across numerous industries and locations for the index, which was generated in cooperation with Futurum Research. Honeywell stated that it would share quarterly insights from the index.
The survey centered on the opinions of professionals towards the sustainability goals of their firms in four categories: energy evolution and efficiency, emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and circularity/recycling.
Overall, the results of the poll suggested that company leaders were pleased with the outcomes of their previous sustainability initiatives, with about 90% of respondents indicating that they were "Somewhat or Extremely Successful" with their past 12-month targets across the four categories. Fewer continued this optimism into the future, with only two-thirds expressing optimism about accomplishing goals within the next 12 months and 63% enthusiastic about their 2030 aspirations.
Even though many people said they would spend more on sustainability projects, confidence in meeting future goals went down. Nearly three-quarters of those who answered said that their businesses plan to spend more in each of the four categories over the next year, and nearly all (97%) plan to do so for at least one. Between 40 and 50 percent of respondents in each category anticipate that budgets will increase by more than 20 percent.
73% of respondents ranked energy evolution and efficiency first or second on the list of environmental sustainability goals, followed by 46% for emissions reduction, 38% for pollution prevention, and 38% for circularity and recycling. 80% of respondents reported that their firms had set internal environmental sustainability goals for energy evolution and efficiency, whereas less than 50% reported the same for circularity and recycling.
Honeywell's Chief Sustainability Officer, Evan van Hook, stated:
"It is encouraging to see energy evolution and efficiency as top priorities for ESG managers. This is typically the region with the biggest ROI, because the more efficient your activities, the less you pay for energy."
The survey found that 62% of organisations expect to achieve their sustainability goals within the next year primarily by modifying or eliminating operational processes or business behaviors, while only 16% expect to rely primarily on technology-based changes, such as upgrading or replacing existing technologies and systems with newer, more efficient or sustainable technologies.
Van Hook added:
"When it comes to advancement, the market is divided. On the one hand, there are businesses that need assistance launching their sustainable journey, and on the other, there are businesses that have depended on process modifications and now require in-depth knowledge of how to tackle more complex problems. Regardless of a company's level of development, the greatest possibility comes in adopting a technology-driven approach to sustainability. This will accelerate our progress."