New Delhi: Indian companies focus more on developing environment-friendly products for customers instead of reducing waste generation, carbon dioxide emissions or using renewable energy, a global survey of companies said.

The survey on environmentally sustainable trends was conducted by Harris Interactive, a New York-based market research firm for Dow Corning, which provides industrial solutions worldwide and is jointly owned by the Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Incorporated.

A volunteer in a stall of eco-chic handbags in a New Delhi exhibition on 6 September

According to the study, Indian companies, while focusing on producing a final product that is environment-friendly, often ignored the production process. This is in sharp contrast to countries such as US, Brazil, Italy, Germany and China, which focus more on the production process and consequently, on issues such as waste reduction.

The 1,000 respondents for the study were drawn from businesses as varied as electronics, construction, beauty and personal care, automotive and textiles. These companies were from seven countries worldwide: India, US, Brazil, Italy, Germany, China and Korea. In all, 135 companies from India were surveyed

According to the findings of the survey, Korea is theonly country where companies integrate environmental strategies into their businessstrategies. Companies in all other countries are willing to address environmental concerns only when it concerns the health and safety oftheir employees, customersor suppliers.

“This is exactly what we have been trying to teach businesses. That environment sustainability has to be long-term and not just a one-off superficial effort. All businesses should include a long-term vision in sustainabilty and integrate it into their business," said Seema Arora, head of the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.

However, India scored higher than China on one aspect: 50% of Indian respondents claimed that environmental sustainability is a criterion when they decide on potential suppliers; the corresponding figure for China was 25%.

Compared with companies in Asian or European countries, a higher percentage of American companies have dedicated teams responsible for decisions that have a bearing on the environment and sustainability.

In India, 35% of the companies have a dedicated team for this; 33% have a specific person; and and 31% do nothave either.

Globally, organizations, except those in Korea, make their sustainability and environment decisions on the basis of the government and customers while local communities and the general public were considered least important.