- Learn about sustainable business and common perceptions and practices of corporate sustainability professionals.
- Gain insight into the future milestones around which companies are planning their sustainability strategies and what they’ll be doing differently.
The 11th Annual BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Survey provides insight into the world of sustainable business and identifies common perceptions and practices of corporate sustainability professionals.
In addition to measuring shifting priorities and challenges in corporate sustainability, this year’s survey takes a look at the future milestones around which companies are planning their sustainability strategies and what they’ll be doing differently.
To focus on actions of companies within the sustainable business community, the research draws from the responses of one sustainability practitioner at each of 125 BSR member companies who participated.
The survey was fielded fully online among the BSR member network, with responses collected between June and September 2019. All data analysis was managed independently by GlobeScan.
Climate emerges as a clear leading priority for companies:
- Companies have historically reported that climate change is one of the top three priorities for the coming year, along with issues such as ethics/integrity, diversity/inclusion, and human rights.
- While these four issues stand out as the continued highest priorities for business, climate change emerged from the pack this year due to the degree to which respondents stated that it is a “very significant” priority for their company.
- This is welcome, but perhaps not surprising, given the increased sense of urgency expressed by scientists and other experts, and the heightened focus of activists.
Investor interest rises as a key driver of sustainability efforts:
- Reputation risks and customer/consumer demand continue to be identified as the most important drivers of company sustainability efforts.
- However, the proportion of professionals citing investor interest as one of the top three drivers of sustainability efforts has increased over the past year. For many, this will not be a surprise given the increasing reports of shareholder activism, questions, and resolutions, and the high-profile viewpoints of people such as BlackRock’s Larry Fink.
Deeper integration of sustainability is challenging:
- There has been little movement over the past three years in the proportion of companies saying that sustainability is at least fairly well integrated into the business.
- Integration of sustainability into strategic planning and into products and services is being pursued by only about half of the companies surveyed.
See more key findings here.