Saturday, December 27, 2008

Will Green Funding Be Harder to Come By?

As the year wraps up on a gloomy economic forecast, people are wondering what will become of the green initiatives set forth by hundreds of organizations and governments as cash becomes harder to come by.

Despite the negative outlook on the market, many expect green initiatives (and the funding for them) to continue to grow, according to a survey released by SunTrust Bank Private Wealth Management. The study surveyed more than 200 business owners, with at least $10 million in annual revenue, about their outlook on "green" giving and investing.

Of those surveyed:

69 percent responded positively to the statement, "Even if there is an economic downturn that moderately affects my business, I plan to maintain my current level of giving to environmental causes in the coming year."
Most survey respondents believe it is a "good" or "average" time to invest in mutual funds or other financial instruments that are specifically marketed as "green" or environmentally responsible.
40 percent of respondents believe it is a "good time" for all businesses to adhere to the highest possible environmental standards.
59 percent believe that a "green" investment would generate a rate of return similar to any other fund.
Nearly half said their company had an official "green" policy that included recycling, energy saving plans and other measures.
Almost half of the business owners donated personal money to organizations devoted to helping the environment.
"The survey shows that business owners recognize that environmental stewardship can have genuine bottom-line results," says Dave Johnston, senior vice president, 45 percent of business owners surveyed believe that the earth's environment is slowly deteriorating.

47 percent characterized the health of the earth's environment as "fair."
30 percent cited it as "good."
18 percent called the environment's health "poor."
Only 5 percent deemed it "excellent."
"In the surveys we have conducted over the past year, we have found business owners give altruistically and abundantly," added Johnston. "This survey indicates that business owners consider it a priority to take action based on their personal concerns about changes in the world around them."

Other concerns motivating executives to invest in the earth included pollution and energy policy, a personal desire to make positive changes in the world and past performance of a particular investment fund.
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