Moral Responsibility in the Corner Office

A majority of business leaders feel a moral imperative to make their companies more energy efficient. So says a recent poll by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Schneider Electric. Of the 301 Fortune 1000 executives polled, “88 percent... feel a moral responsibility to cut energy use, beyond simply the ethical imperative to follow regulatory requirements.”

That’s good news. It means energy awareness is increasing among our nation’s business leaders, those most able to influence energy-saving behaviors within entire corporations.

But what ultimately motivates execs to implement green strategies?

Cost savings.

Sixty-one percent of executives chose savings as the prime motivator for efficiency measures. Compared to that, only 13 percent chose environmental concerns.

This means that while executives want to be good corporate and environmental citizens, it’s the bottom line that gets them to take action.

We think that’s even better news. It means that energy efficiency is finding its “sweet spot” – the place where sustainability and energy management are seen to go hand in hand with corporate financial well-being.

For a long time, this logic has made sense to many in the clean tech and energy efficiency industries. Now it’s reaching across all industries and into boardrooms.

Photo credit: AntTree Art