CEOs regard sustainability as a top priority

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Courtesy of Vital Efficienci Ltd.

A survey done to more than 750 top CEOs reveal that 93% regard sustainability as a critical issue to their company's future success, reports Envido.

A major global survey of 750 chief executives undertaken by Accenture in partnership with the UN Global Compact initiative, revealed that far from falling down the corporate agenda during the recession, the low-carbon economy is now firmly ingrained as a high priority for business leaders.

The study revealed that 93% believe sustainability is critical to their company's future success. More than three quarters of the chief executives and chairmen interviewed said the recession had raised the profile of low-carbon initiatives, while the majority appointed the development of environmentally sustainable products and services as a way of driving revenue growth.

The main shift produced in chief executives' approach to sustainability issues since the poll was last carried out in 2007 is that the execution of sustainability strategies has moved from third or fourth on the list of priorities to the top.

The main motivation for sustainability has shifted from a desire to impress employees to a more commercially focused interest in generating revenue.

The level of ambition in terms of sustainability is higher and it is being integrated into the core business. As a result CEOs recognise that they need to get the execution right.

According to the survey the main motivation for sustainability strategies has shifted from a desire to impress employees to a more commercially focused interest in generating revenue from green products and services.

There is consumer interest in sustainability that has not yet translated into buying power. But, CEOs believe that will change as products mature and government spending begins to drive the market. The survey revealed nothing short of the beginning of a 'new era of sustainability' for the world's largest firms.

Peter Lacy, head of Accenture's sustainability services practice, said 'The CEOs we spoke to are looking at sustainability through an innovation lens and a market opportunity lens that just wasn't there three years ago. The next 10 years will see a fundamental shift in the way they do business.'

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