Sustainability a key concern, according to UL study

Sustainable energy is becoming an integral part of how companies conduct business, as it can not only cut down on environmental pollutants, but slash expenses. In fact, according to a new report by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), implementing sustainability measures is becoming key to many companies. Eighty-one percent of manufacturers claimed that sustainable products have an impact on their market sales, while 89 percent said operational sustainability was important to their businesses.

"The volatility in today's world is causing companies and people to look at the products they make and consume with more scrutiny than ever before," said Keith Williams, CEO of UL."We are seeing manufacturers showcase aspects of their supply chain as consumers demand more transparency. Where a product's made, how it's made and what's in it are paramount."

The study, The Product Mindset, surveyed global perceptions companies and consumers hold about sustainability and green initiatives in business.

Consumers demand sustainability
Customer satisfaction may be the driving force behind the attempt of some companies to add more sustainability initiatives. Sixty-seven percent of respondents agreed that the well-being of the environment has become more important to their consumers, and another 53 percent claimed their clients are demanding affordable, sustainable products.

The survey also found that many consumers don't think companies put enough of a focus on green energy, resource use and other environmental issues. According to Environmental Leader, twenty-five percent of consumers claimed sustainability was the important factor companies should consider when developing building materials. Another 16 percent thought it was the top issue in the fresh food industry, while 14 percent believed sustainability was important in the processed food industry. Fifteen percent thought it was extremely important for those who develop smart appliances and another 10 percent thought consumer electronics companies should focus primarily on sustainability.

Sustainability can result in savings
However, sustainability does more for a company than improve its standing with consumers. Going green can also save a business money, with efficient, renewable energy sources that are more prevalent than ever before. Wind power or solar energy installation can save a company money on energy expenses and power its headquarters, manufacturing facilities or distribution centers.

Many companies looking to invest in renewable energy technologies or sustainable processes can find the initiatives pay off after the initial investment and benefit an enterprise's bottom line.

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