ATD Blog

Attitudes and Actions toward Sustainability: How Do Government and Business Compare?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Results from an LMI Sponsored Government-wide Survey

For more than six years, McKinsey & Company (McKinsey) has surveyed businesses to understand, and track trends in, “why and how companies are addressing sustainability and to what extent executives believe it affects their companies’ bottom line.” They found, for example, that while reputation had been the leading driver for implementing sustainable practices in years past, improving operational efficiency and lowering costs has moved to the top of the list of motivations for implementing sustainability. McKinsey’s survey results peaked LMI’s curiosity. How does the U.S. Government compare with business with regard to sustainability?

To determine the current state of sustainability-related attitudes and actions within the public sector and compare them with the results of McKinsey’s survey of the private sector, LMI conducted a survey of U.S. Government employees using its own Independent Research and Development funds. 

The survey targeted federal employees working in the area sustainability. Invitations to complete the survey were sent to 512 federal employees and 144 responded; a 28% response rate. The survey respondents represented multiple agencies within thirteen federal government departments.
The survey results shed light on the benefits and barriers to implementing sustainability initiatives in the federal government as well as lessons learned from implementation. The results are presented in the article “ What Do Feds See in the Green Mirror?“ in the summer edition of The Public Manager.
Understanding the Government’s current attitudes and actions toward sustainability helps uncover practices that are working well, areas for improvement or clarification, and potential solutions.


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About the Author

Jennifer J. Bitting, PE, is a senior consultant in the Infrastructure Analytics Group at LMI, a not-for-profit government consulting firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

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