Panel’s survey data was compiled the first week of November 2008, before the election, and found that despite a declining U.S. economy and lower oil prices, corporate investment in energy efficiency remains strong. Responses were analyzed from 65 sustainability executives of Fortune 500 companies. Highlights from the survey include the following:

Sustainability and clean technology spending – as a percentage of corporate revenues – is expected to increase 73 percent through 2010.
Eighty-two percent of respondents rated energy efficiency as the most important area of focus and investment currently.
Corporate spending on sustainable waste management initiatives is expected to grow by 20 percent in 2009, the highest percentage increase of any subcategory.
Cost savings, revenue generation and brand strength are the most important drivers of environmental and clean technology initiatives.
Nearly 55 percent of respondents observe no financial criteria (i.e. ROI, payback period) when evaluating sustainability projects for their respective organizations.
A majority of respondents believe capital remains available for sustainability projects.
“Our Quarterly Sustainability Tracking Study clearly illustrates that sustainability and clean technology initiatives have achieved a tipping point and are no longer perceived by U.S. organizations as an optional expense. Rather, sustainability is an opportunity to achieve a greater competitive advantage and higher efficiency, even in a down economy,” said Scott Packard, Ph.D., vice president of quantitative research for Panel Intelligence. “Similar to competitive pricing, technology and product quality, sustainability is starting to be required by customers and supply chain partners.”