Inbox : Investors not concerned about sustainability

A joint study by global consultancy Accenture and the United Nations confirms that chief executives care about sustainability although their investors do not.
The study shows today’s CEOs are more committed than ever to creating sustainable business, although the motivator is no longer just social responsibility. It’s now equally about achieving high performance measured in terms such as lower costs, stronger customer relationships and increased revenue.
Entitled “A new Era of Sustainability”, the study is based on 50 in-depth interviews with company bosses and an online survey of further 766 CEOs from around the world. Almost without exception, CEOs said they would like to do more on sustainability but their investors just didn’t care about it.
This, according to US and UK-based Accenture staffers Rob Hayward and Peter Lacy, “shows the nature of the impasse and the disconnect”. CEOS apparently cite lack of investor interest as critical barrier to further investment, but few attempt to communicate to shareholders on sustainability as business issue. Even fewer see investors as an important voice in shaping their activities in this area over the next five years.
However, the report suggests we are closer than many think to “new era of sustainability”, in which environmental, social and corporate governance issues are embedded throughout operations, the supply chain and subsidiaries.

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