· In spite of the recent economic downturn, an overwhelming majority of corporate CEOs – 93 percent – say that sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies.
· Furthermore, CEOs believe that, within a decade, a tipping point could be reached that fully meshes sustainability with core business – its capabilities, processes and systems, and throughout global supply chains and subsidiaries.
According to the survey, A New Era of Sustainability: UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010, the global economic downturn did little to dampen corporate commitment to sustainability. In fact it seems to have done the opposite: 80 percent of the CEOs say the downturn has raised the importance of sustainability. As businesses address the challenges of the financial crisis, sustainability is being recognized as a source of cost efficiencies and revenue growth.
The survey results indicate that businesses are taking sustainability more seriously. In a similar survey conducted in 2007, 50 percent of the CEO respondents said that sustainability issues had become part of their company’s strategy and operations. In the 2010 survey, that number jumped to 81 per cent.
Three corporate attributes – brand, trust and reputation – were by far the primary considerations CEOs cited for acting on sustainability. They were identified by 72 percent of the respondents as one of their biggest motivators, followed in descending order by: the potential for revenue growth and cost reduction (cited by 44 percent), personal motivation (42 percent), consumer and customer demand (39 percent) and employee engagement and retention (31 percent).
You can follow the UNGC Summit on Live Webcast: http://www.un.org/webcast/globalcompact/leaderssummit2010/