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01/25/2011

CEOs Much More Likely to Consider Sustainability Than Ever Before

A few months ago, IBM released the results of a CEO survey in which “environmental concerns” ranked seventh among the top external factors expected to impact business operations over the course of the next three years. In some corners, this statistic was viewed as proof of corporate executives’ inability – or perhaps even unwillingness – to integrate environmental stewardship into the strategic fabric of their core business operations.

Ten years ago, though, where would sustainability have ranked on such a survey? Or for that matter, how many CEOs would have indicated that their businesses would be seeking to deploy new technologies aimed specifically at addressing issues of sustainability? According to a separate study from Accenture, more than 90 percent of respondents indicated that over the next five years they will be doing just that. So, is the glass half empty or half full?

It seems that after years of much discussion, environmental stewardship is finally establishing a toehold in the corporate (and industry) psyche. Reducing paper consumption and energy conservation (e.g. turning off the lights and powering down PCs when not in use), for example, are now commonplace, and rankings such as Greenpeace’s Cool IT Leaderboard are tracking the sustainability efforts of some of the leading global information and communications technology companies.

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