Sustainable Business Practices in the United States: A Survey on Implementation

  •  Otto Chang    
  •  Michael Slaubaugh    


A survey was designed and administered to 172 business professionals in the United States in 2015 to obtain their assessments of both the current status and future development of sustainable business practices at their companies. Despite the recent attention given to corporate social responsibility, we find that only 34 percent of respondents have a comprehensive sustainable management plan currently in place. However, the survey indicates that by 2021 that percentage is expected to increase to 54 percent. We also find that the six most popular sustainable business practices are recycling material, reducing waste, using less paper, employing energy-efficient technologies, conserving water, and adopting energy-efficient building designs. Respondents indicate their firms are likely to increase expenditures or investment in these same six sustainable practices from 2016-2021. This suggests these particular practices are viewed as being more feasible and beneficial to implement. Among the background variables investigated, we find that affiliation with an organization promoting sustainability is the most prominent; respondents affiliated with sustainability organizations are more likely to engage in sustainable business practices. Another significant background variable is firm size; large firms are more likely to be engaged in sustainable practices than smaller firms.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4725
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4733
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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