A survey asked 1,000 CEOs how they felt about their work on the environment, and most of them gave the same answer: not that great

Business Insider 1 month ago

A new survey of 1,000 CEOs from around the world found that roughly 80% don't believe businesses are doing enough for sustainability.

The report, "A Decade to Deliver: A Call to Business Action," was a joint venture by the United Nations Global Compact, a corporate sustainability group, and the professional-services firm Accenture. It was published Tuesday, the first day of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit at the 2019 UN General Assembly in New York.

"Business leaders told us that they face an ever more competitive and challenging business environment, and an intense set of pressures which include global trade and political uncertainties, pressure from activist investors, and the pace and scale of the technology revolutions taking place in digital, biological and physical innovation," Peter Lacy, Accenture's head of strategy in the UK and Ireland and one of the report's authors, wrote to Business Insider.

Lacy and his coauthors identified three calls to action from their survey.

"Raise ambition and impact"

Those surveyed recognized that finding sustainable solutions is necessary for the long-term health of their business, and must no longer be seen as merely a way to get publicity.

Consumer goods giant Unilever has for the past several years been one of the most vocal companies for raising this ambition. Its CEO, Alan Jope, told Accenture that the UN's SDGs "are not just a nice thing to do — they are a path to a prosperous world."

"Change collaboration"

The CEOs recognized that working toward the SDGs requires collaboration with industry competitors.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, founded by the unlikely pairing of Walmart and Patagonia and now with 250 members, is an example of how retailers are willing to share best practices for sustainability, even as they compete for the same customers.

"Redefine responsible leadership"

The authors found that the CEOs define responsible leadership as:

  • Taking risks on systemic changes within their businesses
  • Driving market demand by making sustainable options available to all consumers
  • Incorporating their initiatives into their corporate cultures
  • Using science as the basis for their sustainability initiatives, and having an understanding of how they work
  • Collaborating with other leaders in their industry
  • Being personally motivated to see the goals achieved
  • Tying sustainability initiatives to financial goals and communicating them to investors
  • Leading authentically (not "greenwashing")
While the overarching message of both the report and the opening speeches of the SDG Summit were, "We're not doing enough," it's in a context of taking the goals more seriously than before. As UN Secretary General António Guterres said on Tuesday, "The private sector is coming to understand that green business is good business."

Accenture's Lacy agreed. "There is reason for optimism," he wrote to Business Insider. "Not only are leaders committed to sustainability and understand its importance to the competitive agility of their organizations, but the technologies and solutions that can enable change already exist today. They just need harnessing."

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Finance › 3 weeks ago
WeWork's CEOs have once again warned employees to brace to layoffs. The CEOs also promised that the team was working on severance packages. At the same time, the CEOs told employees it was still opening new buildings in locations worldwide and hiring...
Business Insider › 1 week ago
The average age of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 CEOs spiked in the last year, according to data from executive staffing firm Crist Kolder Associates. The overwhelming majority of CEOs are also white, though the number of CEOs of color has ticked up somewhat...
Business Insider › Technology › 1 month ago
Business Insider spoke with SAP's new co-CEOs, Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein, who have replaced longtime CEO Bill McDermott. The new CEOs say that the job offer came on Wednesday, and was a surprise to even them: Klein says he didn't even pack...
Daily Mail Online › 3 weeks ago
Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 33, is the great-great-great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. The countess, 31, is the great-great-great niece of Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria.
Business Insider › Finance › 1 week ago
When founding CEOs sell their company, some are thrilled, from a financial and emotional perspective. Others are not. There are a few different outcomes for CEOs after an acquisition: they might leave to start a new company, stay on in the same role...
Business Insider › Finance › 2 weeks ago
Who has the best french fries? The answer changes depending on who you ask. As part of a larger survey about fast food, we asked the readers of Business Insider to tell us which chain they thought had the best french fries. We measured the percentage...
Business Insider › Technology › 3 weeks ago
During the first three quarters of 2019, 1,160 CEOs have left their positions, according to staffing firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas. This number exceeds the number of CEOs who departed during the same nine-month span at the height of the 2008...
Express › Lifestyle › 3 weeks ago
The majority of Brits prioritise cost and convenience over sustainability when shopping and give little thought to the impact on the environment. A study of 2,000 adults found only a third will think about the environment when making a purchase.
CNBC › 1 week ago
According to a recent report from Robert Half, 57% of employees sometimes come in to work while sick and 33% always come in to work while sick. The most common reason employees gave for going to work sich was that they had too much work do to (54%)...
Forbes › 1 month ago
According to a survey, seventy-eight percent of U.S. workers think that CEOs make too much compared to employees. Why is that?
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google