Sustainable Operations

Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey

According to the 2015 Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey, Millennials will lead the way for sustainability in small and medium businesses (SMBs). The national survey examines sustainability opportunities and challenges for SMBs.

Millennials Driving Sustainability

  • Millennials have the most knowledge of sustainability than other generations, with 80% of those surveyed indicating that they have at least a fair amount of knowledge.
  • Nearly 60% of Millennials are committed to increasing sustainable activities in their businesses, which is significantly higher than the 49% of Boomers, who are more likely to be the top decision makers.
  • Only 27% of Millennials in management roles believe that they have a great deal of influence on their organization's sustainability practices, and more than half (53%) of Millennials say that their leadership is impeding their company's sustainability initiatives. The top decision makers in SMBs, such as owners and partners, are more likely to be Boomers.

Today Versus Tomorrow

SMB leaders identified the sustainable business activities they believe are most critical to implement now, as well as those that should take place in the next five years in terms of operations, investments and employees.

  • Operations: Using supplies more efficiently (67%) is critical today, and utilizing solar technology is the top item to take place in the next five years (49%).
  • Investments: SMBs believe that buying or leasing refurbished goods is the most critical activity today (47%), and they identified buying alternative energy as the top item to look at over the next five years (47%).
  • Employees: Encouraging employees to power down equipment is critical today (55%), while offering employees incentives to purchase eco-friendly vehicles (31%) is noted as the top activity to look at in the next five years.

2015 Survey Information:

The 2014 survey results can be viewed for year-over-year comparisons.