Business Leaders Share Insights on Sustainability in the Energy Industry
Our inaugural Environmental Sustainability Index reflects industry satisfaction with past achievements — but qualified optimism about the future
In October 2022, we published the Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index to give industry executives a tool for comparing their companies’ environmental sustainability progress against that of their own industries and other sectors. It captures sentiment findings from a field survey of over 600 global business leaders directly involved in their organizations’ environmental sustainability initiatives. Respondents represent several business sectors: banking and personal services, consumer goods, construction and industrial, energy, government/public sector, transportation and logistics, healthcare and high tech.
Survey questions probed the state of investments in enablement, satisfaction from current efforts and optimism about future sustainability targets or goals. The survey gauged sentiment and progress across the focus areas of energy evolution and efficiency, emissions reduction, pollution prevention and circularity/recycling.
Guarded optimism from the energy sector
In this inaugural survey, a majority of respondents across industries said they were successful in their recent progress toward environmental sustainability goals, reporting an average 91% positive sentiment across all focus areas.
However, while executives in the energy sector reported success, they showed somewhat less positive sentiment about their achievements compared with survey respondents overall. At 82.5%, the satisfaction of energy industry respondents with sustainability goals was nearly nine points below the all-industry average.
Drilling deeper into the energy sector, the survey results revealed a pattern. Energy companies lagged the all-sector averages for positive sentiment in all focus areas over the prior 12 months, with decision-makers at energy companies reporting positive sentiment at:
· 73% around energy evolution and efficiency versus an 87% all-sector average.
· 85% around emissions reduction versus a 92% all-sector average.
· 86% around pollution prevention versus a 91% all-sector average.
· 86% around circularity/recycling versus a 93% all-sector average.
When it comes to expectations for future progress, all respondents were less optimistic about achievements to come than they were about their recent accomplishments. Looking out 12 months, decision-makers across all sectors registered a 19- to 26-point drop in positive sentiment about achieving future sustainability goals compared with their levels of success around the past year’s achievements.
Staring out at the far horizon of 2030 sustainability goals, respondents’ optimism declined further, dropping another 4.5% to 10%.
How are industries preparing for future challenges?
As companies around the world continue working to achieve carbon neutrality and create a more sustainable future, leaders in every industry will need to address some very real challenges. Business leaders surveyed for the Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index ranked the top barriers to environmental sustainability progress that they expect to face in the coming year in this order:
1. Pandemic-related issues.
2. Budget and resources.
3. Staffing and talent availability.
4. Supply chain.
5. Political, regulatory and compliance.
6. Executive leadership/support.
To learn more about how Honeywell and global business leaders view their progress toward long- and short-term sustainability goals, download the Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index.