Sustainability Becoming a Mainstream Corporate Strategy: BCG-Sloan Report

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and MIT Sloan Management Review have brought out a new report that shows the changing face of corporate strategy worldwide. In a global survey of more than a thousand business executives, BCG and Sloan found that businesses are increasingly integrating sustainability into their mainstream corporate strategy.

Companies are discovering that a large number of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services, and prefer to buy from businesses that provide them. In the survey results, customer preference and customers’ willingness to pay a premium came up as the single most important factor that is driving companies across the world to step up their sustainability efforts and commitment.

62 percent of the respondents in the survey said that a sustainability-oriented corporate strategy is the need of the hour. Two in five respondents agreed that sustainability is “permanently” on the top of their management agenda and is a core strategic consideration for their companies. About three times (32 percent) as many business leaders pointed out thatsustainability effort added to their profitability than took away from profits (11 percent).

The report quotes the examples of several leading companies that are committing themselves to making sustainability a part of their mainstream corporate strategy. Domtar, a $6 billion Canadian-based global enterprise, is a paper products company that aims to turn its natural sustainability threat into a viable long-term business strategy through green innovation. Another example is Avis Budget Group’s 2013 acquisition of Zipcar, which addresses the concerns of excessive pollution arising out of an increasing number of cars. Zipcar’s goal is to promote the usage of shared cars to reduce congestion, pollution and parking challenges.

In the industrial sector, GE is helping airlines reduce fuel costs as well as cut down carbon emissions with its innovative engine technologies. Hilton Worldwide is another case in point quoted in the BCG-Sloan report about how the company is employing sustainability strategies to make an environmental impact and create business value. Dell is working closely with its entire supply chain to cut electronic waste and produce more sustainable laptops.

The report points out another example, Kaiser Permanente, which has codified its sustainability priorities and identified key areas that could have the maximum impact on public health. GM and Honda have also joined forces to develop hydrogen fuel cells to be used in each company’s cars.

Source: Sloan Review; US News

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