If you're feeling torn between sustainability goals, energy requirements and budget realities, you're in good company.

Business leaders surveyed in the 2009 BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Poll view climate change as one of the top priorities for the year ahead and identified energy efficiency as the most significant element of their climate strategy. But nearly half also cited competing strategic priorities and short-term financial pressures as barriers to addressing climate change.

The hesitancy to take on energy initiatives that improve sustainability or efficiency is understandable if you approach projects one at a time instead of tackling several at once as part of a comprehensive energy strategy. For example, developing a major on-site solar installation would certainly help you achieve your environmental goals but probably exceeds your budget for new energy infrastructure if you build and finance it yourself. Likewise, individual energy efficiency projects can make incremental improvements but rarely signal to stakeholders your corporate commitment to sustainability.....