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Nov 9, 2011

Survey Shows European Businesses and Consumers Eager to Invest in Sustainability

A significant majority of consumers and business decision makers are increasingly eager and willing to invest in making their buildings and homes more energy efficient. Such are the findings of a new survey conducted by online research organization OnePoll, on behalf of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDQ:ADSK).

The study solicited and analyzed the opinions of more than 2,000 European residents in the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Approximately 25 percent of the respondents were business owners, directors or senior decision makers. Business leaders showed the most willingness to “go green,” with 86 percent indicating an interest in investing to make their organizations more energy efficient; 70 percent of consumer respondents indicated that they were prepared to invest in greener homes.

“The energy cost of buildings, including homes and businesses, has a huge impact on the sustainability of cities,” says Pete Baxter, Autodesk vice president of Architecture, Engineering and Construction for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “As cities seek new ways to reduce and manage environmental impact, we are encouraged to see that businesses and individual consumers are willing to take steps to address the issue. As a leading 3D design software company, Autodesk is committed to helping cities, businesses and consumers use technology to make the best design decisions that will lead to significantly greener cities.”

Challenges of the Sustainable City

The survey revealed differing views regarding the biggest challenges facing sustainable cities, with 30 percent of all respondents identifying global trends such as climate change; 25 percent choosing aging populations, 24 percent selecting growing populations and 21 percent identifying shortages of water and other key resources.

Respondents were equally split over solutions. Buying locally to support local businesses and farmers was the most popular option, supported by 37 percent of the sample, followed by increasing energy efficiency (29 percent) and planting trees in the local area (19 percent).

The “buy locally” option showed particularly strong support in the UK and was referenced by 45 percent of respondents. In Italy, with that country’s strong history in renewable technologies, increasing energy efficiency proved a more compelling option, and was supported by 40 percent.

“European consumers are becoming more aware of the sustainability challenges facing their cities, but remain divided over the key issues and unsure about how to resolve them,” adds Baxter. “The survey findings show an urgent need for greater education, together with an awareness of the steps individuals and communities across Europe can take to drive the development of sustainable cities.”

Autodesk commissioned the survey to measure the willingness of consumers and business to make sustainable choices. Through a broad portfolio of solutions that are helping empower architects, engineers and designers make more sustainable design choices, Autodesk is helping to imagine, design and create a more sustainable world. Over the past four years, the company has reduced its own carbon footprint by 34 percent. More information is available at http://www.autodesk.com/sustainable-design