Improving energy efficiency at America’s businesses might be as important to brand building as it is to growing the bottom line, according to a new Deloitte report.

The study, “reSources 2012,” shows that while 85 percent of companies claim that electricity cost reductions are essential to staying financially competitive, nearly as many (81 percent) believe they are critical to brand building.  In fact, more than three-quarters of the organizations surveyed say they are actively promoting their energy efficiency efforts to their customers.

“Corporate America is coming to a clear consensus: Energy efficiency is an important competitive advantage,” says Greg Aliff, vice chairman of Deloitte and the report’s co-author. “It is no longer just the purview of plant operations or building management. Senior leaders are beginning to view it as a strategic business driver.”