For many CFOs, energy management just isn't a priority.

That's one finding from the consultants at Groom Energy, who've been surveying companies with at least $2 billion in annual revenue and 10,000 or more employees. Unfortunately, many leaders at these big, important companies simply aren't very interested in sustainable energies and green technologies. That's not just a shame -- it's also bad business.

Going green isn't just a trendy move. It can also be a powerful way to reduce costs while benefiting the planet. As the icing on the cake, these eco-friendly initiatives also burnish companies' image in many consumers' eyes.

The green of green
Here are just a few of the many examples of companies that are saving money by going green:

  • A decade ago, Ford (NYSE: F) built a 10.4-acre green roof over its River Rouge plant. With plant life living in a thin layer of soil, it serves birds and insects, produces oxygen (offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from the factory), and purifies rainwater, thereby saving Ford the cost of a chemical-laden water treatment system.
  • Trucking company YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) is using or testing a variety of green technologies, such as diesel-electric hybrid vehicles, more fuel-efficient tires, biodiesel fuel, ultra-low-sulfur diesel, low-emission diesel tractors, and more effective engine oil and lubricants.
  • Corning (NYSE: GLW) is one of many companies in the government's ENERGY STAR program, which is committed to helping businesses and consumers save money by protecting the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. Corning has been producing enough energy at its natural gas plant to power seven of the buildings on its corporate campus.
  • Philip Morris USA, a division of Altria (NYSE: MO), notes on its website that it's been converting to more energy-efficient lighting systems; enhancing the efficiency of its steam return systems and air compressors; improving the operations of its HVAC equipment, boilers and incinerators; conserving energy; and using more renewable and cleaner forms of energy. These measures have helped Philip Morris reduce its energy use by nearly 10% in just a few years. That's a real cost savings for the company and its shareholders.

When CFOs and other corporate bigwigs avoid implementing green initiatives, they're shortchanging their stakeholders and making their companies less competitive. Many of the best companies have been going green, for good reason.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Corning. Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Altria Group. Try any of our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools