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Less green companies: the crisis changes priorities


The economic crisis is not green. It does not facilitate the sustainability, it does not help the environment. In short, it is not in the hardships that companies discover themselves green, if anything the opposite is true. Anyone who has doubts about this can consult the research data Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012, elaborated by Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of Ricoh, with interviews with 1,075 senior executives (C-Class), directors and other employees of companies across Europe.

The study asks whether companies, compared to a reference model developed in 2009 (date of the previous Ricoh Document Index), have managed to improve the management of their critical document processes which are the basis of their business. It emerges that, in the changed market context caused by the crisis, companies have changed the scale of their priorities, but not with a view to green.

The data confirm that the business risk management (business risk) rises to the top by replacing the cost aspect, while environmental issues fall to the lowest levels of the ranking. At the same time, the importance of transparency emerges among the overall objectives of companies, since 64% of respondents declared that they had set targets aimed at aligning the processes with the overall objectives of the organization, compared to the 15% who had done the same statement in 2009.

The 2012 research results are in stark contrast to those found in 2009, and not flattering on the front green. Three years ago the attention of European companies was focused on costs (67%) and efficiency (59%) much more than today (costs 43%; efficiency 51%). While the environmental sustainability seems decidedly neglected to the advantage of the management of Big Data (the growing volume of data to manage), emerging markets and the management of multiple suppliers. Only 33% of companies set a sustainable goal in 2012 compared to 41% recorded three years ago.

In particular, with regard to the sustainability, if in 2009 the majority of companies had set objectives that placed environment and energy alongside costs, efficiency and performance, 2012 presents an almost diametrically opposite picture in which business risk management and corporate alignment are identified as top priorities, while environment and energy descend to the lowest levels on the priority scale.

In this context, with regard to documentary processes, only 39% of business leaders in Europe think they have overcome the challenge of environmental sustainability. For 22%, this is a problem that has even gotten worse over the past three years.



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