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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Survey Snapshot

In a small cross-industry survey carried out by Sustainability Consult in preparation for moderating this month’s Global Chemical Industry Convention, 80% of respondents said they saw themselves as part of the future climate change solution rather than the problem.  So who are the real climate change villains?

To be fair, all of our respondents also admitted that their industries play a part in the causes of climate change, citing carbon emissions from manufacturing and transport as the biggest contributors.  But they were also quick to point out the measures their industries are already taking to combat climate change, with 60% highlighting more energy-efficient facilities.  Counteracting negative impacts on the environment through  environmentally-friendly measures such as energy efficiency, renewables and cleaner production processes is clearly a major concern for all the industries surveyed. 

One theme emerging from the convention was ‘A balance of crisis’ - how to address climate change issues while dealing with the more immediate economic crisis that has seriously impacted all industries, from chemicals to shipping and energy to insulation, in the past year. 

Innovation was seen by the majority of survey-takers as the key to surviving both crises but also their most important challenge for the future.  While the main obstacle to innovation this year has been reduced funding for innovation due to the financial crisis, our respondents also placed blame on a lack of both corporate buy-in and public-private partnerships.

The survey results illustrate industry’s recognition that innovation is a way out of crisis, but also the need for greater conviction and support from governments and corporations alike.  And these industries’ optimistic view of themselves as part of the climate solution rather than the problem is not just wishful thinking - even if the financial crisis has slowed down recent progress, they are clearly heading in the right direction.

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