Sustainability gains prominence amongst business

Increasing understanding and implementation of environmental issues is gaining ground in the business community and many key CEOs see the next decade crucial as a sustainable economy takes hold.

The picture is changing rapidly – a couple of years ago many would not know what a carbon footprint was let alone how to measure and monitor its impact. Today it’s different with many companies integrating sustainability into their business structure, with some starting to include it in bonus packages.

In the report  – A New Era of Sustainability UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010 – 93% of CEOs see sustainability as important to their company’s future success. They identify the importance of consumers who are driving companies’ strategies for developing sustainable products and services; will increasingly adopt new technologies (renewable energy, energy efficiency, information and communication technology) to meet their sustainability goals over the next five years and see collaboration with suppliers, government agencies and non-governmental organisations key to achieving goals.

Not only will this help generate the global economy amongst suppliers of green technologies it will also impact on companies within the supply chain. Once corporations have got their own house in order they will start to look outside to identify other ways to widen their sustainability programme. While few have already started this process this is an area that will increase in the next few years. So for smaller suppliers who wish to continue trading with bigger companies it will be crucial to implement environmental and social initiatives.

The challenging economic climate has forced larger businesses to review  core business activities and see how integrating sustainability can help reduce costs and increase revenue. Smaller companies would be prudent to follow suit – not only will it help retain access within the supply chain it will help them stay ahead of competitors.

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