Execs Sing Sustainability Song, Say It’s Critical to Business

Sustainability Spreading: Brands around the world are putting an increased emphasis on sustainability, a trend covering areas from corporate strategizing to new product development and marketing. An Accenture study, released in May 2012, polled 250 executives—some 44% of which agree sustainability is “critical” to their business. A further 48% say the issue was “very important.”

Other findings include:

  • When considering the factors stimulating sustainability action by brands, 62% point to consumer and customer expectations, and 23% report this constituted the “single most important” prompt.

  • Among the sustainability-led investments being made to encourage growth, 60% of firms are entering new markets and 54% are developing products linked to existing sources of revenue.

  • While the vast majority (83%) of responding senior decision makers see spending on sustainability as an investment rather than a cost, a majority (56%) say it is currently more expensive to be a sustainable business.

  • Only 41% of those surveyed  are motivated by regulatory compliance, and only 29% by the need to reduce energy and material costs.

  • For 60% of respondents, it is viable to command a price premium for green goods, a rating peaking at 70% in emerging markets, 67% in the U.S., 56% in Europe and just 36% in Japan.


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