Although there was speculation that the recession and halting recovery would crush many corporate green initiatives as companies looked to cut back on any efforts deemed nonessential, in fact the opposite has happened. A study by MIT's Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group released in February found that sustainability spending has more than survived the downturn, with 59 percent of companies reporting that their sustainability investments increased in 2010 and nearly 70 percent saying they expect to spend more in 2011.
Today, CFOs looking to squeeze as much efficiency out of their plants and operations as possible have found that certain cornerstones of the sustainability movement, such as reducing waste and power usage, offer fresh ways to do what they do so well: manage risk and control costs. The environmental benefits are a nice outcome, too, of course, but they are not the main motivation behind many companies' heightened focus on green initiatives.
Finance executives are also realizing that greener practices may be able to help them control volatile energy and input costs, which are a growing concern.
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