Increasingly, investing in sustainability isn’t just a PR move, but a fundamental and profitable part of businesses, writes Max Nisen from Business Insider. “Unilever uses a sustainability message to attract talent, and Novo Nordisk measures environmental and social impact as closely as profit. A joint survey from the Boston Consulting Group and MIT’s Sloan Management review found that 37 percent of businesses are reporting that sustainability measures have added to profits, up 23 percent from last year’s survey. Still, that means well over half of businesses aren’t seeing a profit, which could be a barrier to real change.” Why? Things holding businesses back are broken down in this report.
The study found that failure to deliver on sustainability was mainly due to businesses lacking ways, metrics, to measure sustainability efforts and progress, but also a lack of commitment and too narrow implementation. Implementing sustainability initiatives in one segment or department without looking at the wider implications and opportunities for the company as a whole – including potential financial benefits! – was still widespread, the report said. Read more
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone that has worked in a large company before (me included), where departmental interests and dynamics can differ substantially. Experienced, visionary sustainability leaders are not always at hand, neither will the majority of senior managers have benefited from any sort of sustainability education. Changing a company towards sustainability from inside might thus be much harder than forcing it to adapt to outside drivers, such as consumer/client expectations (e.g. supply chain pressure), or regulations.
Picture credit: chrismear
- Why successful sustainability leaders need big ideas (sustainablefutures.info)