A New Era of Sustainability

This survey of more than 750 CEOs conducted by Accenture and the U.N. Global Compact explores to what extent companies are embracing green issues and preparing for a future where sustainability is central to business.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Global Compact, Accenture found three driving forces for corporate sustainability efforts: Brand, trust and reputation. These three components were ranked as the biggest motivating factor by 72 percent of respondents, followed by potential cost reductions and revenue increases, personal motivation, customer demand, and employee engagement.

Findings indicate three trends that are shaping corporate sustainability efforts:

1. The consumer is (or will be) king;
2. Importance of technology and innovation;
3. Collaboration is critical.

The report also identifies five areas where companies will need to take concentrated action to grow the green economy:

1. Actively shaping consumer and customer awareness, attitudes and needs.
2. Generating new knowledge, skills and mindsets for sustainable development.
3. Leading the creation of an investment environment more favorable to sustainable business.
4. Embedding new concepts of value and performance at the organizational and individual levels.
5. Creating a clearer and more positive regulatory environment for sustainability.