A new report on sustainability and based on a survey of more than 750 CEOs and indepth interviews with 50 of the CEOs was published today by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture. This study called A New Era of Sustainability represents the largest CEO-based study on sustainability of its kind to date.
The highlights of the study include:
- 93 percent of CEOs see sustainability as important to their future success.
- Those who agree in the importance of sustainability into their business do not necessarily report success in executing that objective.
- Re-establishing consumer trust is the immediate issue (branding and corporate image).
- Technology, collaboration and a greater understanding of consumer desires are critical success factors.
- The investment community must more effectively factor progress toward sustainability into valuation models.
- CEOs believe that we are moving toward an era in which businesses will no longer focus purely on profit and loss as the primary means of valuation, but rather take into account also the positive and negative impacts on society and the environment.
My impression from this study is that many business leaders believe in the virtues of sustainability but have not necessarily done anything to make their business sustainable – yet. Sustainability is still mentioned as an item that is gaining force and that will need to be imbedded in future plans (“we are moving toward an era”), just not right now I guess.