What Will Be the Biggest Driver for Corporate Sustainability in 2012?

With 2011 coming to a close and 2012 just around the corner, GreenBiz asked executives from a range of companies and organizations to reflect on the past year and look at what lies ahead.

They obliged by telling us about their accomplishments, goals, their thoughts about what will drive sustainability in 2012 and how they and their firms can do better in the coming year.

Here's what they said when we asked:

What will be the biggest driver for corporate sustainability in 2012? 

Bart AlexanderBart Alexander, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Molson Coors

No. 1: Our own people. In our annual employee survey, almost nine out of 10 employees believe that we are environmentally responsible and responsible in the community. And these beliefs are one of the top drivers of their engagement. Our employees reflect the wider community: Consumers care about the company behind the brand.

No. 2: Money. Being more efficient and reducing risk is good business, particularly in unsettled times.

Kathrin BelliveauKathrin P. Belliveau, Esq., Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Government Affairs, Hasbro

As a company that’s all about play, earning the trust of the children and families who enjoy our brands is extremely important and a driver behind all that we do. We hope that by providing transparency into our CSR goals and journey, it will give consumers added incentive to choose our products.

Steve ClementeSteve Clemente, Principal in Charge, Operations Services and Leader of Living Green initiative, KPMG

The biggest sustainability driver will be innovation. We will maintain a sustainability lens on our innovation efforts so they are aligned with our new 2015 Living Green goals. Innovation will change how we collaborate, engage employees and better serve our clients.

Eric DresselhuysEric Dresselhuys, Executive Vice President, Silver Spring Networks

The biggest driver will be a combination of policy and technology. There are great technologies coming onto the market as the result of the investments made over the last three to five years. They are commercially available and are proven to deliver value. The question therefore will be, will the policies at the state and federal level in the U.S. and globally allow for them to be adopted and scaled? If we don’t adopt technology, nobody will want to invest in developing it.

Rick FedrizziRick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman, U.S. Green Building Council

In the last 10 years, the impetus behind building green has shifted from being a good thing to do to a necessary thing to do. And the bottom line drives many of these decisions and making performance-driven choices of utmost importance.  With square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings trumping new construction for the first time, it's evident that decision makers are looking at their existing building stock and current properties and asking -- how can we make what we already have better?

Next page: Leaders from US Foods, Sprint, Dow Chemical, eMeter, Method, NRDC and The North Face predict the drivers for corporate sustainability in 2012.