Businesses “sleepwalking” into resource crisis, warns research

Posted at December 14, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Businesses “sleepwalking” into resource crisis, warns research

Businesses are unprepared for the effects of dwindling resources and are “sleepwalking” towards a crisis, warns the Carbon Trust.

In a new study, business executives in Brazil, China, Korea, the UK and USA said they did not expect to have to take action on combating resource scarcity for 10-15 years at the earliest.

Of the 475 contacted for the survey, 43% said their organisations do not monitor risks to their businesses from energy prices or environmental disasters, and over half (52%) still do not have targets for managing carbon, water or waste.

But UK companies appear to be ahead of the game. According to the research, they spend most on sustainability and are most likely to have targets and reporting programmes in place.

By contrast, Brazilian companies have the lowest reported number of sustainability programmes.

The reason is clear, says the Carbon Trust. Nearly half (47%) of the executives surveyed believe that taking action on sustainability issues will decrease profits or don’t feel that the business can afford the investment required.

And that is despite the acceptance that once there are constraints on resources, 60% of those surveyed believed their prices will have to go up, as well as engaging in fewer markets and providing fewer products or services.

“The research shows that many organisations are doing nothing to address a problem they indicate could hit their operations by 2018,” says chief executive Tom Delay. “Many organisations seem to accept that they will have to make significant changes to their business because of resource scarcity, and that these changes could impact their profits. But many are sleepwalking into a resource crunch.”

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Related stories:
Asda pockets £13 million in savings thanks to sustainability programme (2-Oct)
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to generate revenue by using less energy (12-Sept)
MS becomes UK’s first major carbon neutral retailer (7-Jun)

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