Sustainability Drives Revenues for Business in Europe

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Corporate sustainability is the way forward for any company that wants to create competitive advantage. In the European business community, there is a growing belief that sustainability is becoming a core component of mainstream business. Many European companies are now looking at how their business can deliver purpose and quantifiable social impacts.

The Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Trends 2017 report examines the top global trends and issues for business in 2017. The report features insights from nearly 2,500 global business executives, and analyzes issues such as the evolution of the sustainability department and engagement on the SDGs. A section of this report focuses on the key findings from the business community in Europe.

The report reveals that, among European respondents, nearly 30 percent of the sustainability managers or teams report to their CEO. When including the Board, this increases to over 50 percent. This indicates that corporate responsibility and sustainability has a seat at the top of the organization and is important to business strategy.

Few organizations have a sustainability budget in excess of $1m – just seven percent of the European respondents fell into this category. This is an increase of one percent on 2016’s report, which indicates an increasing appetite for sustainability activities for European organizations. In comparison, only five percent of North American and Asia Pacific respondents indicated a budget in excess of $1m, which would imply a higher importance placed on sustainability in Europe.

Just shy of 93 percent of respondents agreed that sustainability should be involved in setting supply chain strategy which could be a result of increasing supply chain legislation around the globe and increased risks to the brand from supply chain activities. The responses from European professionals were similar to the responses from those based in North America and Asia Pacific – indicating consistency in successes and focus across the globe.

Fifty-seven percent of the European respondents said that they are integrating the SDGs into their business strategy. In some instances, companies are using the SDGs to adjust or confirm direction of strategy. However, over two-thirds of all respondents feel there hasn’t been the right level of action to keep up momentum from COP21.

Fifty-six percent of the European respondents stated that sustainability is delivering revenue for their organization, and 21 percent perceived sustainability as a source of competitive advantage.

Source: Ethical Corporation