Boston, MA, February 10, 2011 - A new study
released by the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston
Consulting Group suggests there are two distinct camps of
companies: "embracers" - those who place sustainability high on
their agenda - and "cautious adopters," those who have yet to focus
on more than energy cost savings, material efficiency, and risk
The report - the Second Sustainability & Innovation
Global Executive Study - identifies seven specific practices
exhibited by embracer companies, which together begin to define
These include the need to move early, even if you don't have
complete information; to be authentic and transparent both
internally and with the external stakeholders; and to work
aggressively to "de-silo" sustainability, integrating it throughout
Key findings of the study are:
- Improved brand reputation is perceived as the biggest benefit
of addressing sustainability.
- Automotive is seen as the industry for which sustainability is
most critical now.
- The commitment of the cautious adopters to sustainability is
increasing at a far faster rate than that of the embracers.
- Most companies - whether currently embracers or not - are
looking toward a world where sustainability is becoming a
mainstream, if not required, part of the business strategy.
Other key findings:
Business Is Investing More in Competing on
Sustainability - while many wondered whether the
economic downturn would push sustainability off the corporate
agenda, our survey results indicate that the exact opposite is
true. In fact, a growing number of companies are now increasing
their investments in sustainability, i.e. in waste reduction and
Who Are the Embracers? Embracers are
top performers who conceive of sustainability advantages more
broadly and are progressive in managing change. For growing
companies in growth markets, sustainability investments come
The World Is Tilting Toward Embracers
- External forces are pushing business toward the adoption
of sustainability measures. Even cautious adopters are aiming to
Follow the Leaders - How to do what
the embracers do. Seven emerging practices that are worth following
- Move early - even if information is incomplete.
- Balance broad, long-term vision with projects offering
concrete, near-term "wins."
- Drive sustainability top-down and bottom-up.
- Aggressively de-silo sustainability - integrating it throughout
- Measure everything (and if ways of measuring something don't
exist, start inventing them.
- Value intangible benefits seriously
- Try to be authentic and transparent - internally and
Download the full report from here.