Despite the nation's attention on eco-friendly programs and policies, a new survey suggests most businesses are not planning to step up their efforts in this area - at least not in the next year. When asked whether they expect their companies' emphasis on green initiatives to increase, decrease or remain the same in the next 12 months, 68 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they anticipate no changes. More than a quarter (28 percent), however, said they expect an increased focus on the issue.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, "In the next 12 months, do you expect your company's focus on green initiatives will increase, decrease or remain the same?" Their responses:

            No change                                 68%
            Increase significantly                     5%
            Increase somewhat                         23%
            Decrease somewhat                          3%
            Decrease significantly                     1%
                                                     ----
                                                     100%

"Many companies may already be pursuing green initiatives and not feel they need further investments in the near term," said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "For other businesses, priorities may have shifted from environmental initiatives to returning to profitability, given the difficult economy."

McDonald pointed out that in addition to being good for the environment, green initiatives also can save a company money and have a positive effect on morale. "A reputation as a good corporate citizen instills pride in employees and can enhance recruitment and retention efforts."