New study reveals vast majority of global companies are increasing sustainability investment

More than 85 per cent of all responding organisations plan to increase their sustainability investments.

A sizable majority of global companies surveyed are planning increased investments in support of their sustainability targets, despite economic uncertainty, according to the 3Q 2023 Environmental Sustainability Index, released by Honeywell in partnership with The Futurum Group.

The fourth edition of the quarterly index indicates that sustainability investment is growing and will continue to grow, thanks in part to the political and regulatory environment:

  • 86 per cent of the 751 global companies surveyed indicated that they plan to increase their sustainability budgets
  • Seven in 10 surveyed companies said the political and regulatory environment has had a positive impact on their sustainability initiatives in the past 12 months
  • 74 per cent of respondents said they were optimistic about attaining sustainability goals, particularly with respect to 2030 energy goals – a strong number but 3 percentage points lower than the last index
  • Budget increases are slated across four sustainability categories: energy evolution and efficiency, emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and circularity/recycling
  • Improving energy evolution and efficiency is the top sustainability commitment across all geographies, with 87 per cent of respondents citing it as a priority
  • Some 25 per cent and 20 per cent of organizations in Latin America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, plan to boost their investment in energy evolution and efficiency by at least 50 per cent in the coming 12 months – outpacing the budgetary commitments being made in North America and the Asia-Pacific

For manufacturing and energy companies, sustainability has become their top priority, with roughly eight in 10 organisations in both sectors citing sustainability goals as their most important initiative for the coming six months.

These companies indicate that sustainability is far outpacing their other corporate priorities, including financial performance, market growth and workforce development.

“The latest Environmental Sustainability Index confirms that large global companies are continuing to stay on pace and invest in technology and staff to achieve their environmental sustainability goals,” said Evan van Hook, chief sustainability officer at Honeywell.

“Sustainability is top of mind for leadership, and they are activating top-level staff to increase involvement and traction toward goals. At Honeywell, we are well on our way to delivering on our commitment to reaching our 2035 goals, and we are helping our customers to do the same with our ready-now solutions.”

This latest edition of the survey also found that reporting on sustainability is strong, with 93 per cent of survey companies having a reporting process in place.

More than 80 per cent of these organizations are optimistic that their reporting methods will meet disclosure requirements that may emerge in the next year.

Managing the reporting process is a bit trickier, however, as only 38 per cent say they have a centralized person on staff to track sustainability efforts.

“The fourth release of Honeywell’s Environmental Sustainability Index provides new insight into how organizations are reporting and tracking their previously set commitments toward sustainability,” said Daniel Newman, principal analyst and founding partner of The Futurum Group.

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