Over 80% of Companies to Increase Budgets for Environmental Sustainability Goals Over Next Year: Honeywell Survey
Well over four out of five companies plan to increase spending on environmental sustainability initiatives over the next 12 months, as the achievement of sustainability goals extends its lead as a top corporate priority, and executives become more confident in meeting those goals, according to a new survey released by industrial products, solutions and technologies company Honeywell.
The results were unveiled with the latest release of Honeywell’s Environmental Sustainable Index. Honeywell launched the index in Q4 2022, with updated releases planned quarterly, aimed at providing insight into how business leaders feel about the progress that’s being made toward their organizations’ sustainability commitments. For the report, produced in collaboration with Futurum Research, Honeywell surveyed more than 750 business, technology, and sustainability professionals directly involved in the planning, strategic development, implementation, or oversight of environmental sustainability goals and initiatives, at companies across multiple regions and economic sectors, and each with at least 1,000 employees.
The report found that the achievement of sustainability goals remains the most cited priority for the executives, identified by 75% of organizations as one of their 5 most important near-term initiatives, up from 65% last year, and well ahead of second-place Digital Transformation Initiatives, at 56%. Of the environmental sustainability categories studied, Energy Evolution & Efficiency was the top cited priority category, cited by 62% of respondents asked to choose two categories, followed by Emissions Reduction at 47%, Pollution Prevention at 43%, and Circularity & Recycling at 33%.
With sustainability initiatives remaining a top priority, the significant majority of businesses surveyed reported plans to increase spending towards the achievement of their environmental sustainability goals over the next 12 months, including 88% looking to grow their budget for Energy Evolution & Efficiency, 84% for Emissions Reduction, 84% for Pollution Prevention, and 83% for Circularity & Recycling.
The report also found that executives appear more confident in hitting both their near- and longer-term environmental sustainability goals, across every category, with the biggest increases in confidence coming in Emissions Reduction, with 72% of companies reporting being optimistic about their goals in this area over the next 12 months, up from 65% last year, and 72% also optimistic about their 2030 goals, compared to only 63% last year.
A vast majority of executives surveyed also reported at least some success in achieving their sustainability goals over the past year, with 90% or more reporting somewhat or extreme success in each of the four categories.
One of the new features in this quarter’s report was an assessment of the impact of extreme weather and natural disasters on companies’ environmental sustainability initiatives. According to the survey, 62% of respondents believe that wildfires, floods, and storms during the past year will have a material impact on their environmental initiatives, with 44% reporting that extreme heat will have, or already has had, a material effect on their sustainability planning. Additionally, over 40% said that these events will or have inspired a material change in long-term sustainability investments.
Gavin Towler, Chief Scientist for Sustainability and Chief Sustainability Officer at Honeywell, said:
“The extreme weather events this year have increased the sense of urgency for immediate action at organizations. As a result, we should expect to see more organizations looking to accelerate their sustainability efforts and, in particular, adopting a technology-driven approach to their energy transition plans.”