Even with the current US administration attempting to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations, facility managers, building operators and sustainability professionals appear to remain committed to continuing their environmental and sustainability management initiatives, according to a recent survey conducted by Lucid and Urjanet. Of those who responded to the survey, 71% said they will continue to be committed to sustainability, reducing energy use, and improving overall performance of the built environment.
“These results reflect a growing understanding in the private sector of the impact sustainability initiatives have not only on the environment, but on the bottom line,” says Will Coleman, CEO of Lucid.
The 2017 Sustainability Outlook Report: Sustainability in the Age of Trump, a survey of sustainability professionals, facilities managers, and building operators, also found that almost one-quarter (24%) of organizations have actually increased their commitment to sustainability in the face of new federal administration.
Corporate respondents cited commitment to their corporate mission and to business performance as the two primary motivating factors for their continued focus on sustainability. Reporting compliance, industry recognition, and employee satisfaction was close behind.
And a full 50% cite sustainability as part of their corporate mission.
Looking forward, 73% of surveyed organizations expect their commitment to sustainability to remain the same in 2017, and nearly a quarter (21%) plan to increase their commitment.
Of those surveyed, 46% believe their sustainability budgets will remain unchanged in 2017, and 29% of private company respondents expect an increase in budget.
Lucid says that the survey results are very much in line with conversations they have had with other building operators and facility managers, as well as other sustainability professionals: they are seeing a move towards more corporate improvement – and accountability – in regards to environmental resource management.
The survey results reflect the public response from companies after President Trump signed his executive order to turn back the Clean Power Plan: hundreds, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, said that pursuing a low-carbon future was good for their businesses and their brands. “Strong clean energy and climate policies, like the Clean Power Plan, can make renewable energy supplies more robust and address the serious threat of climate change while also supporting American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” the tech giants said in response to the executive order signed last week.
“Energy consumption and water consumption comprise massive costs for all organizations and cannot be ignored. Whether driven through government programs or private sector initiative, we see enormous momentum for sustainability programs nationwide,” Lucid’s Coleman says.
Survey results will be discussed during a webinar, “Sustainability in the Era of Trump,” at 11:00 am PT, April 20, 2017. Attendees can register at https://lucidconnects.com/library/videos-and-webinars/sustainability-in-the-era-of-trump.