Green movement offers significant market opportunities for the technology sector: PwC study



    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - As public awareness and concern for global
environmental issues increases, technology organizations are beginning to
implement "green" initiatives to mitigate their impact on the planet. However,
according to a recent study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) titled:
"Technology Executive Connections: Going Green: Sustainable Growth
Strategies", altruism is just one of many motivating factors behind the green
movement - the strongest driver is economic.
    Forty percent of technology executives surveyed say that the green
movement creates significant market opportunities for their companies, as
evidenced by a noticeable increase in customer demand for more environmentally
friendly products and services. A further 60% say that energy savings is one
of the most important factors in their company's environmental decision-making
process.
    "The growing demand for more sustainable products and services could
translate into one of the biggest new markets in recent memory," says Bruce
McIntyre, leader of PwC's sustainable business solutions practice in Canada.
"Yet Canada is behind the eight ball on implementation. While the European
model may not be ideal for our marketplace, our Canadian technology companies
should be more proactive and seize this opportunity to drive growth while
ensuring their green initiatives are in line with their business strategy."
    According to the survey, 61% of executives feel it is very important
(29%) or important (32%) that their companies take steps to reduce their
environmental impact. This shift towards green products, services and business
operations is having a direct impact on the level of collaboration and
innovation found throughout the entire technology value-chain, including
marketing, Human Resources, Research & Development processes, manufacturing,
and supply chains.
    As organizations continue to evaluate their own business practices, they
are paying closer attention to the actions of their partners and suppliers as
well. According to the survey, one in five technology executives (18%) claim
their companies practice environmentally preferred purchasing, where
organizations select products and services that have a lesser effect on the
environment than competitive products and services. The study suggests that
this figure will rise to over half (53%) within the next two years.
    Globally, technology organizations are also taking steps to safeguard
themselves from future stringent government legislation and regulations by
proactively imposing their own green-oriented controls. Twenty percent of
survey respondents say their companies maintain a formal and widely
distributed environmental policy. The study suggests this figure will increase
significantly over the next two years, jumping to 48%.
    A number of technology companies are also issuing Sustainability Reports.
Within an organization, the reported information can be used to drive
continuous improvement in environmental performance, as well as minimizing
risks. Externally, technology companies can use these reports to highlight
their environmental advantage in the marketplace with competitors, regulators
and consumers.
    While global organizations across all sectors are striving to become more
environmentally responsible, the effects of the green movement on hardware
manufacturers compared to software companies varies substantially. The
statistics demonstrate greater interest and associated activity from hardware
manufacturers compared to service-oriented businesses, such as software
providers and content developers. According to the survey, 60% of technology
manufacturers are developing green products and services, compared to only 33%
of non-manufacturers.
    "Technology manufacturers are taking aggressive steps to expand their
portfolio of green products and services by pursuing energy efficiency,
implementing designs that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials,
using recycled or recyclable materials, building products that last longer,
and creating packaging that meets or exceeds global environmental standards,"
comments John Delucchi, national leader of PwC Canada's technology practice.
"A growing focus on reducing the weight of products and improving their
capacity for recycling is also helping manufacturers better address "end of
life" issues such as the recovery and disposal of products that have run their
course."
    The green movement also presents software and service-oriented technology
companies with sizeable growth opportunities. The need for green technology
consulting services and software aimed at helping organizations conduct
business virtually to reduce travel and thus the carbon footprint will
increase substantially in the coming years.
    "The pendulum swing towards green technology is unleashing a creative
disruption within the global technology market. The pressure is on companies
to respond quickly, make the most of new opportunities and manage their own
environmental risk," adds McIntyre.
    The quantitative findings presented in the PricewaterhouseCoopers
"Technology Executive Connections: Going Green: Sustainable Growth
Strategies," report are based on a survey conducted by the Economist
Intelligence Unit (EIU) in September 2007. The survey garnered 148 responses
from senior executives based in five principal regions: 28% Asia; 31% Europe;
35% North America; 5% the Middle East and Africa and 1% Latin America.
    In addition to a full copy of the report, a podcast, featuring PwC
professionals, including Bruce McIntyre, leader of PwC's sustainable business
solutions practice in Canada, discussing sustainability issues can be accessed
www.pwc.com/techconnect.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance,
tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its
clients and their stakeholders. More than 146,000 people in 150 countries
across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop
fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and
staff in offices across the country.
    "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario
limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the
PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network,
each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.





For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Forest, PricewaterhouseCoopers, +44 (0)
20780 45218, carolyn.h.forest@uk.pwc.com

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