Many large UK firms do not have systems in place to become more environmentally friendly despite good intentions on the issue, research has claimed.
Rolls-Royce are leading the way in this area
One in three firms surveyed by the UK's national standards body did not have a formal plan for minimising emissions and improving their energy efficiency.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) said firms could boost their reputation and competitiveness by acting now.
Suppliers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their green credentials.
A survey of 100 companies listed on the FTSE-250 share index found that 70% of them were worried about rising energy costs while 30% were concerned about their carbon emissions.
But BSI said this awareness had all too often failed to translate into direct action, with less than 30% of firms having an environmental standards programme in place.
"It is encouraging to see that companies recognise the social and business benefits of going green but we have clearly got some way to go," said Mike Low, BSI director.
"None of us can afford to wait another 10 years when advice and guidance based on years of business experience is readily available to use now."
Adopting formal standards and targets would help firms reduce any harmful impact on the environment while giving them a point of difference in attracting business, Mr Low added.
BSI singled out Rolls-Royce, George Wimpey and Smiths Group for praise for their efforts in this area.