Summary of our 2020 Corporate Energy & Sustainability Progress Report

October 5, 2021

Progress on energy and sustainability was at an all-time high in 2019. How will that momentum fare in a new decade—and under radical new circumstances?


Get the insights from more than 260 industry professionals.

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Executive Summary

It is a pivotal moment for energy and sustainability as we enter the “Decade of Action”—so declared by the UN Secretary General.

To achieve the goals set out by hundreds of global organizations will require bold steps to reduce emissions and operate more sustainably. In this report, we examine the issues at hand and consider how the business community can and should act.

We’ve made massive collective progress on energy and sustainability in the past 10 years, and stand poised to go even farther in the new decade. In our report, we seek to make sense of the current trends and what must transpire to maintain momentum, and preview the changes that we believe are yet to come.

Our findings build on the results of our two previous reports (find 2018 here and 2019 here), and explore compelling conclusions in the areas of energy management, digital innovation, climate action, goal-setting and confidence, and fresh financing mechanisms.

Our original research was conducted in the fall of 2019, at a time when none of us could anticipate that the publication of this report would overlap with the proliferation of COVID-19.

To understand the effect that COVID-19 has had on corporate energy and sustainability programs, we surveyed industry professionals to create an addendum to our report. For an updated look at the impacts of COVID-19, please see our COVID-19 Addendum: 2020 Corporate Energy and Sustainability Progress Report.

About our 2020 Energy & Sustainability Progress Report.

Its purpose is to provide high-level insights into global energy and sustainability trends with the goal of supporting organizations on their journey to Active Energy Management.

For the third year in a row, we partnered with GreenBiz to survey the opinions of 265 global energy and sustainability professionals from corporations earning more than $250M in annual revenue and spanning 17 different industry segments. Respondents to the survey ranged from individual contributors to C-level executives representing multinational businesses.

Survey respondents were primarily located in North America (69%), Europe (21%), and Asia (7%), with operational sites all over the world.

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