A recent Harris Interactive poll conducted among Fortune 1000 companies found that nearly 90 percent of Fortune 1000 senior executives feel a moral responsibility to make their companies more energy efficient. According to the study, respondents felt it was their moral responsibility to cut energy use, beyond the ethical imperative to follow regulatory requirements.
On the surface, this sounds like great news. But dig a little deeper into the study, and reality sets in – reality in the form of the almighty dollar.
Of the group surveyed, 13 percent said environmental concerns were their main motivator to save energy. Yet more than 60 percent identified cost savings as their biggest energy-saving motivator.
Apparently cost savings reinforces morality!
While it’s wonderful that 13 percent of respondents did cite the environment as their primary motivating factor for energy efficiency, it’s clear that in this economy the bottom line still rules, with or without good intentions.
To me, the best news from the study was that 75 percent of the respondents said that saving energy has gained importance within their organizations over the past two years.
Often, it is management that ultimately makes efficiency a priority – particularly for large companies. Time and time again, we see management buy-in as a critical component to a successful energy efficiency strategy.
I certainly agree there are many companies that feel efficiency is a moral issue – and act accordingly. However, it’s usually the bottom line that affects most any decision, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency.
At the end of the day, any reason is a good reason to incorporate energy efficiency at home or at the office. Quite frankly, I’m thrilled such a large percentage of our corporate leadership believes efficiency is a moral responsibility. While we still have a long way to go before our economy is back on track, it’s my hope that when we get there, the Fortune 1000 senior executives will still feel the same way.
Article by Tim Laughlin, appearing courtesy Xcel Energy Blog.