Are organisations prioritising green schemes over profits?

Sustainability remains a priority for over a third (37%) of organisations despite concerns over Covid-19 and profitability, research has found.

A survey, conducted by technology firm Stone Group, found almost half (45%) of organisations had decided to take sustainability more seriously, and a third (32%) said it continued to be a big focus for them.

Over 250 senior decision makers with responsibility for green initiatives across public and private sector organisations were polled as part of the research. It found they were prioritising sustainability ahead of preparing for hard recession, growth plans, and managing post-Brexit challenges.

Of those respondents who said they had already implemented sustainable practices, over half (53%) said the main driver was ethical beliefs, and more than two-fifths (41%) cited cost benefits. 

However, a disconnect between the number of organisations claiming sustainability was important to them, and those taking real, effective action, was identified. 

Over a third (34%) of respondents claimed a lack of resource was preventing them moving towards their goals, while 31% said the cost of investment in initiatives was too high.  

Supply chains were cited as the top area of focus for green initiatives for almost half (46%) of organisations, followed by facilities (39%), logistics (37%) and IT estate management of ageing hardware (36%).

The survey found organisations were starting to take a sustainable approach to managing their IT estates. Almost three-fifths (59%) claimed to have purchase refurbished hardware, and 31% claimed to use an IT asset disposal service. But one in five respondents said they still sent their old IT to landfill.

Tim Westbrook, director at Stone Group, said: “It’s incredibly positive to see so many organisations taking steps towards becoming more sustainable. In fact, our research showed that the majority of respondents place sustainability even higher up the business agenda than preparing for recession, growth plans, and managing post-Brexit challenges.” 

Last year, it was estimated that 60% of firms had lowered investment in sustainability initiatives in the immediate wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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