Green is Profitable
When fish stocks in nature are decimated by over-fishing, coastal fishing communities die and countries need to rely on imported seafood; when arable land becomes useless because of acid rain, countries can no longer sustain agricultural exports and must again, rely on imports to feed its citizens.
So long as humans need to eat, drink, and live in shelters made of materials that come from the earth, we need to make sure that everything we do is sustainable so that we can continue to depend on earth's bounty.
As reported in Environmental Leader, a new survey of CEOs by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture found that 93 percent see sustainability as crucial to their future success.
The problem is, despite widespread agreement that sustainability is important, variation existed between industries. While every automotive CEO believed sustainability and environmental concerns were important or very important for the future success, that figure dropped to 81 percent of CEOs in the communications industry, with only 22 percent of communications CEOs responding that sustainability issues were “very important.”
Moreover, although the vast majority of CEOs agree that sustainability should be embedded throughout their subsidiaries (91 percent) and supply chain (88 percent), far fewer report that their company is already doing so (59 percent and 54 percent, respectively). Forty-nine percent of CEOs cite complexity of implementation across functions as the most significant barrier to implementing an integrated, company-wide approach to sustainability. Competing strategic priorities is second with 48 percent.
Those who are willing to make changes are not in a hurry to do so. A majority of respondents, 54 percent, said that fully integrating sustainability issues across their businesses is less than a decade away, while 80 percent believe reaching that goal is less than 15 years away. 86 percent of CEOs said “accurate valuation by investors of sustainability in long-term investments” is a necessary first step to reaching a tipping point in sustainability.Continued on the next page