The business community is moving forward with sustainability despite the weak economy. According to the findings of the fourth annual “BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Poll 2012,”the global business community has made progress on 14 key sustainability challenges over the past 20 years. For the second year in a row, 62 percent of respondents identified the
integration of sustainability into core business operations as the most
important leadership challenge for business today.
The poll surveyed more than 500 business leaders from BSR’s global network of nearly 300 member companies. The survey asked executives to evaluate the past and likely future progress on 14 key sustainability challenges.
“The survey reinforces our view that business has made great strides to integrate sustainability into their activities, and that much more progress is required for truly sustainable outcomes,” said BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer.
One of the chief areas of progress involves the issue of reporting, 55
percent said they either currently produce or will soon produce reports
that integrate financial and sustainability data.
Considering the next 20 years, respondents rated sustainability reporting, water, and responsible supply chains as the areas in which business will likely make the most progress. In contrast, respondents were least optimistic about future progress being made in public policy, governance, and employee treatment.
According to the poll respondents indicated that the most progress has been made in health and safety, sustainability reporting, and community/social investment. It shows that corporate practitioners believe the least progress has been made in sustainable consumption, public policy, and water. Respondents indicated that that business will make strides on water related issues in the next 20 years. However, other issues—including sustainable consumption and public policy—will remain ongoing challenges.
Cramer also stated that the survey “underlines the essential need for renewed business leadership to mobilize and engage consumers, investors, and governments to enable sustainable prosperity for all. Integrating sustainability into business operations and throughout the value chain is a necessary step in accelerating progress, and we work with business leaders to achieve exactly that outcome,” said Cramer. “But that alone won’t get the job done. It’s also important to develop powerful partnerships with policymakers, civil society, and industry partners to create change at the scale it’s needed.”
Chris Coulter, GlobeScan President, added: “This survey of corporate sustainability practitioners has identified some critical gaps in the sustainability agenda in the coming decades. Long-term success for global business is predicated on building societal trust, accelerating integration across the enterprise, and exerting greater leadership in key areas—sustainable consumption, public policy, and climate change—that, if not attended to, will disrupt long-term growth opportunities.”
A total of 42 percent of respondents identified climate change as the top climate challenge for business as working effectively with operational units and throughout the value chain to achieve solutions. The second biggest challenge is establishing a strategy that achieves the greatest impact (29 percent).
To see the complete report click here.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
CFOs are Embracing Sustainability and Seeing Benefits
The 8 C’s of Sustainability Branding by Marc Stoiber
The Green Economy is the Right Solution for our Troubled Times
Corporate Sustainability is Driving Green the Green Economy
Launching of the New Global Green Economy
The False Choice Between the Economy and the Environment
A Private Sector Approach to Clean Technology from the CTTA
Data Shows that Sustainability Pays
The Growth of Sustainability as Revealed by 3 MIT Reports
Sustainability Offers a Competitive Advantage & Better ROI
The CDP Identifies Germany as the Global Sustainability Leader
CDP Report Shows a Growing Number of Companies See the Risks Posed by Climate Change
Top Ten Companies in the 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project Report
Call to Service: Teaching Sustainability at Business Schools
The Business Case for Sustainability from a Skeptic (Video)
Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point
Investors and Global Sustainability
MIT Survey Shows More Businesses are Embracing Sustainability and Turning a Profit
Sustainability Success Kit from Enviance
Sustainability (Sustainable) Defined
Top 10 Global Sustainability Leaders (Report)
Global Survey on Sustainability
10 Sustainability Initiatives for Small Businesses
The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework
The New Sustainability Advantage
Corporate Sustainability Experts Want a Tax
Corporate Sustainability Experts Scoff
China’s Twitter Users Focused on Sustainability
Spring of Sustainability (Video)
Corporate Sustainability Strategies in Asia Part1 (Video)
Sustainability Methodology (Video)
Sustainability in the Workplace Low-Hanging Fruit (Video)
The Benefits of Sustainability in Business (Video)
How sustainability can Save your Business (Video)
The New Sustainability Advantage (Book)
Sustainable Business Methods, Strategy, Management and Reporting
Sustainable Successes and Failures
Cost Benefit Analysis of Sustainable Business
Sustainable Practices are a Strategic Priority for Business
The Overwhelming Logic of Sustainable Business
Sustainability is an Unstoppable Megatrend
Cooperation Between Environmental Organizations and Businesses
Best Green and Sustainable Business Twitter Feeds
10 Sustainability Business Pledges
10 Great Companies Who Were Green Before It Was Cool”
Ten Things New Sustainability Managers Need to Know
Best Practices for Sustainable Businesses
Best Practices for Communicating Sustainability
Best Practices for Engaging Employees in Sustainability
Sustainable Supply Chains
Environmental Revolution: Leadership and Morale
Environmental Revolution: Technology Certification
Environmental Revolution: Building and Operations
Innovation and the Development of Sustainable Products or Processes
An Integrative Approach to Eco-Innovation
10 Steps to Sustainability-Driven Innovation
Sustainability is a Catalyst for Innovation
Social Media Driving Corporate Environmental Sustainability
Green’s Bottom Line: Staying Competitive in Volatile Economic Times