Recently 2degrees, an online sustainable business platform, conducted interviews with more than 490 companies from around the world - ranging from small companies to large corporations- from various business sectors. The goal of the study was to learn more about the sustainability priorities and plans of the companies and to see if there were commonalities. In the report, 2degrees wrote that companies need to consider the impact of energy, sourcing, waste and risk at all touch points of a company and throughout the supply chain not only to survive, but to thrive, and we couldn't agree more. We, too, share their view that sustainability is a source of competitive advantage – driving growth, efficiency and profitability- and that companies benefit from sustainability plans in more ways than one.
Some of the key takeaways from the 2degrees report include:
· Retail, heavy industry, government/not-for-profit, telecoms/media and utilities sectors show the highest levels of engagement, with around 40% in each sector saying that sustainability is central to their business strategy.
· Logistics, property and finance sectors are less engaged. But that is changing.
· Whether central to a companies’ strategy or not, the results revealed one challenge common to driving sustainable business in all sectors: engagement.
· Overall, cost-saving resource efficiency was the primary driver for sustainable business practice followed by compliance and reputation or brand.
· Sustainable business is still seen by most as something to track and measure alongside short-term reporting cycles, which may be a mismatch between their ambitions and how they are measuring performance.·
· Energy efficiency, waste and water were top sustainability priorities for companies.·
· Engagement generally, and senior engagement particularly, is critical to moving sustainable business from a peripheral to a central concern.·
Read the 2degrees 2014 Sustainable Business Trends Tracker HERE.
If you'd like to learn more about the Business Case for Sustainability, watch SSC President, Jennifer Woofter's, presentation HERE.