Thursday, May 17, 2012

MIT Survey Shows More Businesses are Embracing Sustainability and Turning a Profit

More companies are getting serious about sustainability and they are turning a profit in the process. This is the conclusion of the third annual survey titled Sustainability and Innovation Global Executive Study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The 2011 survey gathered more than 4000 responses from executives and managers across all industries and regions. Results were published in January 2012.

The report indicates that Europe is the overall sustainability leader, while emerging markets are steadily improving. Progressive organizations are leading the way in making the business case of sustainability. Leading industries include energy, utilities and automakers.

It is no surprise that the larger the company, the more likely it is to have made sustainability a priority. According to MIT’s data, the case is especially true of companies within the commodities sector. With the exception of industrial services and media, survey respondents have indicated that sustainability related plans have contributed to their company’s profits.

It is interesting to note that those companies that do not make the business case for sustainability, but attempt such actions, results in a decrease in profits. This suggests that companies interested in sustainability have must set clear goals and develop a targeted plan to enhance profits.

The leading benefits from embracing sustainability are improved brand reputation, increased competitive advantage, and better innovation. Companies profiting from sustainability-related activities were driven by customer preferences, resource scarcity and legislative or political pressure.

To learn more about the MIT/BCG findings click here to use the interactive data visualization tools.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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