Sustainability budgets to rise in 2013

Business spending on sustainability, environmental and energy related initiatives is expected to rise next year, according to a new survey from sustainable business analysts, Verdantix.
 
The organisation recently polled 250 senior sustainability executives around the world and found that almost half plan to increase their sustainability spending by up to nine per cent next year, with another 12 per cent expecting to raise it by more than 10 per cent.
 
39 per cent said their spending would stay the same, and only four per cent expected it to fall.
 
Taking UK businesses alone, almost two-thirds of respondents are likely to increase their sustainability, environmental and energy related budgets next year.
 
Investment potential
 
Areas likely to see the most growth include smart grid technology, energy systems integration and renewable energy generation and distribution. 
 
Sustainable product design, collaborative or shared consumption models, and corporate reporting initiatives look set to receive similar amounts, while interest in electric vehicles, corporate water stewardship programmes, carbon offsetting and some forms of onsite renewables will remain sluggish.
 
A way to go
 
However, according to Verdantix chief executive, David Metcalfe, the survey also highlights the relatively small number of businesses that are embarking on the “transformational programmes” needed to slash greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.
 
The poll also revealed that the majority of sustainability executives still have to run their spending past a finance director for authorisation, and many still lack direct budgetary control over the activities their department is responsible for. 
 
Only a fifth of those polled believe their chief executive understands the direct impact that sustainability issues are having on the business, and about a half feel their chief executive fails to see sustainability as a top priority.
 
‘Good sector’
 
Nonetheless, he said the survey showed that: "The market is growing and we are in a good sector, compared to the rest of the economy.” 
 
He added: "It's not growing at the rate of a Facebook or Apple, but we still expect to see the UK market for energy, environment, and sustainability programmes have a compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent between 2010 and 2015."
 

Posted on 29 October 2012

Rising budgets