A pressure group which promotes sustainable business says many of the top retailers are missing chances to cut their energy costs by not implementing proven means of reducing their consumption.
And according to 2degrees, unwillingness from senior management is often "the main barrier to action on energy efficiency".
This, it says, is despite nearly two-thirds of the large retailers it surveyed spending more than £1million on sustainability initiatives, and claiming this objective to be at the heart of their businesses.
Four out of 10 of the businesses questioned said, however, that the biggest obstacle to putting energy-conserving measures in place came from within their own organisations.
Martin Chilcott, CEO of 2degrees, said: “In many respects retail businesses are ahead of the pack when it comes to sustainable business, yet on the central issue of energy efficiency some are failing to seize the opportunity."
The survey took data from nearly 500 of the world's biggest companies, including McDonald's, GlaxoSmithKline, Tesco and Coca-Cola.