Sustainability by the Numbers, Trends and AnalysisSource: EHS Journal | 29 August 2014
There was a time when corporations treated sustainability as nothing more than the topic du jour of environmental activists or an issue they recognized only because the law required it. But today’s corporate sustainability practices have undergone a remarkable shift. Now, sustainability is being integrated into the bottom-line of businesses. Leading global companies have paved the way for sustainable innovation. Investors and consumers are increasingly weighing green footprints in decision-making, and senior levels of management have realized the benefits.
Global Leaders Move Toward Sustainability
One of the most easily identifiable heralds of the importance of sustainability in the corporate structure is the way influential multinationals have approached the subject. In the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2012 Global 500 Report, findings indicated that, not only were companies making progress in taking sustainability into account, but they were doing so at a swift rate. The CDP designates a disclosure score to companies on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best. In the 2012 report, the average score had increased by 13% to 70 in just 1 year. Fifty-two percent of companies reported emission-reduction activities, compared to 35% in 2011. Seventy-three percent of respondents had also incorporated climate change into business strategy, 65% had done so in 2011.
The 2012 Sustainability Leadership Report by Brandlogic and CRD Analytics detailed the same trend in corporate sustainability. The study used a similar 100-point system and, of the 100 prominent global companies reviewed by the study, 93 had improved their sustainability scores. The gains led to a significant uptick in the mean sustainability scores: 51.7 in 2012, compared to 42.4 in 2011, a 9.3 point increase.