TORONTO (Jan. 23, 2 p.m. ET) — At least 78 percent of facilities managers and cleaning professionals said they would need proof that a company they do business with is practicing sustainability, according to a recent survey.
The survey was conducted by The Sustainability Dashboard, which helps organizations monitor their use of fuel, water and energy, among others, and included nearly 150 participants.
“Transparency and credibility when it comes to sustainable issues are paramount today,” Elizabeth Steward, marketing manager for Sustainability Dashboard Tools, said in a statement. “No one wants another greenwashing experience.”
The respondents, though, had varying answers on what qualified as valid proof of sustainability. About 25 percent said they would accept the company's published reports, but 57 percent wanted the reports to come from independent, third-party organizations and not just the company's word.
Also, 41 percent of respondents say that sustainability produces cost savings, and 27 percent said it costs more. The rest said they were unsure or that it was cost-neutral. Ninety percent said they were willing to spend 5-10 percent more for a product produced by a sustainable company.
The survey defines sustainable companies as those which operate in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible manner.