Sustainability - business success beyond the short term

17th Annual Global CEO Survey

Sustainability - business success beyond the short term

Sustainability is core to business success. It’s not about how you spend the money you make, but how you make it. Resource scarcity and climate change, urbanisation and demographic changes consistently feature in the top three megatrends set to transform business, according to CEOs - hopefully in a positive way. Coupled with increasing CEO confidence in the global economy, will these opportunities translate not only into growth opportunities, but also sustainable business and good growth?

We’re living on a planet with finite resources and a growing population. Our demand for goods and services means resource scarcity is a reality – this plays out in price increases, supply disruption and quality issues. It’s not just limited to minerals, metals, oil and gas, but the water needed to drink, cool or clean, and energy needed to supply homes and industry.

Throw into the mix unpredictable weather patterns causing floods, extreme temperatures and high winds, and business disruption is the result - preventing supply, delaying distribution, driving migration and damaging product.

What CEOs are concerned about:
Business is right to identify this as a business transforming trend. Because global markets must now compete for resources, including oil, water, land and agricultural commodities, there are new costs and worries to consider to achieve desired outcomes. To reduce or remove the risk, new approaches are required to build in resilience. Find out more.
The global population is growing, its profile is changing, and it’s moving to cities.

Worker availability, experience and skills will become a local issue for business. For instance, businesses may need to create their own talent pool or attract workers from other locations – it will mean they’ll need to fast track their knowledge about training, multi-lingual working environments, and migration issues.

With the rise of the middle classes, consumer spending is predicted to increase. But there’ll be more demand for raw materials, water, energy and carbon putting pressure on supply chains, communities, infrastructure and governments.

Thinking about sustainability early will ensure an element of future proofing is built in and create competitive advantage. Find out more.
Sustainability is on the radar for many CEOs. Some companies have adopted corporate responsibility agendas. Others are reviewing their carbon emissions. More are starting to minimise their footprint on the environments and communities they work in. But this is just the beginning. Leading thinkers are embedding sustainability into how they're doing business and some are seeking ways to create quality products and service in a net zero impact way.

In addition, some want to improve lives at the same time. This isn’t just about philanthropy, there’s a business edge to it as well. Increase sanitation levels or reduce malaria and you have thriving customers or a healthy workforce. Sponsor children through university, build schools, or improve girls' education and you can extend your potential talent pool at the same time as lifting people out of poverty.

But only 5% of CEOs say sustainability will be the next big thing to impact business. Are they the leading thinkers with their 'eye on the ball'? Are the rest set to follow? Find out more.
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Interested in learning more?

Visit the Global Sustainability site to find out what CEOs think about sustainability, what it means to the business community and how it will drive change.