Sustainability = profitability, say companies

11th March 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Management/saving



Sustainability is paying off for a growing number of firms, according to a US study, with more than one-third of companies polled agreeing that such initiatives had aided profitability

The fourth annual global survey of executives and managers by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) finds that 37% of the 2,600 responding from commercial organisations say that sustainability-related actions have added to their company’s profit in the past 12 months. This is a 23% increase on the previous year.

Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed also report that their firm has changed business model as a result of sustainability opportunities – a 20% increase on the 2012 figure. Customers’ preference for sustainable products and services, and resource scarcity are cited as the two main drivers for change.

“Consumers, especially in Europe, are increasingly aware of a product’s sustainability credentials and are willing to pay a premium for environmentally sound products and services,” the report said.

The results of the latest BCG survey demonstrate that pursuing sustainability-related strategies is increasingly seen as crucial for maintaining competitiveness. Sixty per cent of respondents report that sustainability is already key to remaining competitive, while a further 31% claim it will be in the future.

In total, 70% of respondents believe their organisation’s commitment to sustainability – in terms of management attention and investment – will increase significantly over the next year.

Survey respondents were asked to rank the top three sustainability challenges facing their organisation over the next three years.

Energy scarcity and energy price volatility is regarded as the number one priority, with 78% of those polled placing it in their top three. This was followed by: waste and waste management (52%); limited access to raw materials (51%); climate change (37%); and water scarcity (28%).

The report makes it clear that many large companies are turning to their supply chains to reduce energy use, simplify packaging, mitigate commodity price risks and meet customer sustainability expectations.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close