How can a focus on sustainability complement your business strategy in 2015? Discussions with our clients reveal three major trends:
The potential of value chain improvements to help businesses increase resilience, reduce costs and attract consumers is driving action
Increased collaboration across value chains is leading the way for more sustainable outcomes and better business results. More than two-thirds of supply chain executives surveyed in PwC’s 2013 Global Supply Chain Survey say sustainability will play an important role in managing supply chains through 2015 due to the potential to improved resilience, reduce costs and support growth. These benefits don’t just accrue to every sustainable supply chain initiative; they are the product of strategy and design.
Climate Change will remain on the agenda in the US and around the world
Expect to see a rise in local government action to address the challenges posed by climate change. On the federal level, the new GOP leadership in Congress has pledged to thoroughly review proposed clean energy regulations, including the adoption and implementation of the EPA Clean Power Plan for power plants. On a global level, expect to see a crescendo of business engagement leading up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year, which is seen as a critical opportunity to achieve a binding global agreement on climate. Further, U.N. member states are working with the business community to advance a series of sustainable development goals to grow economic, social and environmental advancement.
More companies embrace new reporting methods
PwC data show that nearly two-thirds of investment professionals (63 percent) say that the quality of a company’s reporting could have a direct impact on its cost of capital. A separate PwC survey found that the same percentage of institutional investors say they are dissatisfied with corporate disclosure by U.S. companies on matters relevant to climate change, resource scarcity, corporate responsibility and citizenship. These trends are driving some companies to consider new standards and frameworks for reporting, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Guiding Principles.