Need proof that corporate responsibility initiatives can withstand the recession? Consider this: According to a new study from Panel Intelligence, 80 percent of sustainability leaders surveyed (65 execs from Fortune 500 companies) in November say they intend to maintain or increase spending in areas related to sustainability next year. In fact, they reported that sustainability and clean technology spending, as a percentage of corporate revenues, is expected to increase 73 percent through 2010.
And well it should. Another recent study by A.T. Kearney reveals that, as a result of “ecoflation” (based on future analysis of increases in commodity prices, environmentaland governmental policy and climate situations), packaged goods companies may expect a reduction in earnings of 19 to 47 percent in the next decade if they do not implement adequate sustainability measures. That’s nothing short of startling. Thankfully, unlike much of the rest of the business world of late, optimism and sound business sense do not seem to be in short supply among corporate responsibility leaders of some of the world’s leading companies.