Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Green Tier Program, in conjunction with the WI Sustainable Business Council and Cool Choices gathers information on “sustainability” efforts from Wisconsin businesses. The information is used to develop programming, both within the public sector, but also within the private sector.
In 2013, we surveyed 915 Wisconsin companies. This list included companies that had been surveyed in the past, plus new additions of companies that expressed interest in the Green Tier or Green Masters Programs.
The survey was sent via email to identified sustainability contacts four separate times over a series of several weeks.
This survey used the term “sustainability” but is meant to encompass efforts of companies to green their business, to improve their environmental or social performance, or in other ways to respond to stakeholder pressures to be better citizens or be more responsible.
Response rates have always been high, with the 2013 response rate being 23%. High response rates may indicate that companies of all sizes are paying attention to sustainability.
The survey yielded both predictable and surprising results. For instance,
- The percentage of companies that have developed sustainability reports has doubled since 2012;
- Nearly three-fourths of companies have sustainability goals;
- A greater percentage of companies are encouraging suppliers to meet sustainability criteria; and
- There is a dramatic increase in the interest in additional training/education in a wide variety of sustainability areas. This broad increase in demand most probably reflects an increasing interest in sustainability in Wisconsin businesses.
Comments on the survey analysis, the questions used, or any other observations, can be submitted to Tom Eggert at firstname.lastname@example.org