For example: • Thirty-nine percent of respondents say their companies publicly report their sustainability efforts, a 15% in- crease over the past four years (see Figure 3). • The number of companies that have both key performance indicators (KPIs) and clear governance structures toward sustainability has increased by 6% over the same four-year period. • The number of companies that have sustainability as a top management agenda item jumped from 46% in 2010 to 65% in 2014. • The number of companies without a sustainability business case and value proposition is also declining: between 2009 and 2014, the percentage of companies that have not created a sustainability business case dropped from 42% to 23%. The board of directors should play a strong role in my organization’s sustainability efforts. To what extent is the board of directors engaged in your organization’s sustainability efforts? 65% 21% 7% 3% 1% 2% Agree strongly Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree somewhat Disagree strongly Don’t know 22% 20% 15% 14% 13% 15% To some extent To small extent To moderate extent To great extent Not at all Don’t know 86% agree that boards should play a strong role in sustainability 42% report that their boards are substantially engaged in sustainability FIGURE 2: HOW ENGAGED ARE BOARDS OF DIREC- TORS IN SUSTAINABILITY? A majority of respondents believe their board of directors should play a strong role in their company’s sustainability efforts. Regarding sustainability in your organization, does your organization have: (Please choose all that apply) 40% 50% 60% 30% 20% 10% 0% Chief Sustainability Officer Link sustainability performance with financial incentives Responsible person per business unit Separate function for sustainability Personal KPIs related to sustainability Operational KPIs related to sustainability Sustainability reporting Clear responsibility for sustainability Strong CEO commitment to sustainability 4-year trend -9% +6% +15% +6% +5% +1% +2% -2% -1% 2011 2012 2013 2014 FIGURE 3: SUSTAINABILITY IS BECOMING MORE INTEGRATED INTO COMPANIES Companies are continuing to integrate sustainability activities into their business.
JOINING FORCES • MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 7 These changes are consistent with sustainability- related collaborations becoming more strategic and transformational in nature — 74% of col- laborations address a strategic challenge, and 54% aim at transforming the market in which the business operates (see Figure 4). 6 Moreover, companies that include sustainability as a top management agenda item are more than twice as likely to pursue collaborations that are strate- gic or transformational. 7 Organizations that pursue such collaborations are also more likely to partner with a broad array of companies, aca- demic institutions, governments, NGOs and multilaterals on sustainability matters.
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