There is widespread and growing acceptance of the increasing value that sustainability programs have in the private sector today, yet over 30% of businesses do not have a strategy for sustainable growth in place, according to a survey from KPMG’s global Climate Change and Sustainability practice.
Just over 60% of companies surveyed said that they currently have a working strategy for corporate sustainability - up from just over half polled in a similar survey in 2008. Of those that do not have a strategy, over 70% expect to do so within one to five years and 25% indicated they had no specific timeframe. Yet, nearly 50% of all executives surveyed believe that implementing sustainability programs will contribute to the bottom line, either by cost reduction or increased profitability.
These figures come from 'Corporate Sustainability: A Progress Report' a survey from KPMG’s Climate Change & Sustainability Services practice, conducted in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The survey captured three main reasons for slow progress on sustainability:
- A lack of common set metrics and tools – and information systems- for measurement and analysis of the impact of sustainability programs
- A lack of available financing that will put sustainability on par with operational programs that have a higher short-term return on investment (ROI)
- A lack of a clear and rigorous international framework of regulation within which companies can plan with confidence.
Larger, publicly listed companies are much more likely to have adopted a strategy than their smaller, privately held counterparts. Nearly 8 in 10 of the large companies polled have a strategy, compared with just under half of the smaller businesses.