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CEOs on Sustainability

The report shows that business leaders are successful in making the case for sustainability within their organizations.

• Eighty-four percent of CEOs report that it is discussed and acted on at the board level.

• Seventy-eight percent of CEOs see sustainability as an opportunity for growth and innovation.

• Eighty percent see it as a route to competitive advantage in the industry.

TABLE 1.1

CEOs' Perception of the Importance of Sustainability Varies by Industry

Industry*

Important

Very

Important

Utilities

39%

61%

Banking

39

61

Infrastructure & Transportation Services

50

48

Chemicals

47

50

Metals & Mining

43

54

Communications

63

33

Automotive

52

43

Consumer Goods & Services

41

53

Energy

35

59

Industrial Equipment

54

38

Electronics and High Tech

46

42

* Based on 1,000 completed responses.

Source: UNGC-Accenture CEO Study 2013.

The importance of sustainability can vary from industry to industry; see Table 1.1

Siemens is one company outlined in the report. It has achieved strong growth throughout the downturn through a focus on innovative technologies in clean energy (offshore wind turbines), enabling customers to cut CO2 emissions worldwide and develop intelligent infrastructure.

CEO Learnings[1]

You will not be judged anymore only by the top line or bottom line results in your company. You will increasingly be judged by the contributions that you will make to society.

Paul Polman, Unilever

The world is more complex, and risks are more interconnected; but a complex world is an opportunity, if you can deal with its complexity.

Martin Senn, Zurich Insurance Group

We measure our success not by the profit we make, but by the difference we make.

Bob Collymore, Safaricom Ltd.

The role of every company is to be a positive force in society: you have to focus on creating value, creating success, and if you look from the perspective of the long term then in going about your business you should engage with society positively.

Carlos Brito, Anheuser-Busch InBev

There is a natural evolution in the investment community towards sustainability, corporate governance and transparency: these will soon become normal parts of the investor discussion.

Federico Ghizzoni, UniCredit

To accelerate progress on sustainability, we need governments to recognize the role of business as a solution in providing growth and innovation.

Sir Andrew Witty, GlaxoSmithKline

 
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