Sustainabilitys main drivers are changing Although regulatory requirements

Sustainabilitys main drivers are changing although

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• Sustainability’s main drivers are changing. Although regulatory requirements, brand enhancement and risk management remain key drivers of sustainability, cost reduction is also a key rationale. The primary focus is on the environmental side, in particular with regard to resource and energy efficiency. Sustainability is being viewed as a source of innovation—and new growth. Forty-four percent of executives agree sustainability is a source of innovation, and 39 percent see it as a source of new business opportunities. Far fewer disagree. Firms are increasingly measuring— and reporting—their sustainability performance. Just over one out of three (36 percent) companies polled have issued at least one public report on sustainability, and another 19 percent plan to do so soon—although a sizeable minority (38 percent) have no plans to do so. Two key challenges on this front include generating relevant data and establishing relevant benchmarks. Business wants a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Two-thirds (67 percent) of executives believe a new set of rules to replace those that will end in 2012 is “very important” or “critical” . Just 8 percent think it is “not important” . The field of sustainability is unusual in that corporate lobbying is weighted toward tighter rules, even though this may result in higher costs. © 2011 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. All rights reserved.
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© 2011 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. All rights reserved. 14 | Corporate Sustainability Introduction Sustainability’s±corporate±evolution±± “No one can resist an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo’s quote could well be applied to corporate sustainability at the dawn of 2011. Companies around the world remain committed to pursuing sustainability agendas, despite a number of factors: a severe economic downturn in many regions, high unemployment, a disappointing outcome from the 2009 Copenhagen climate change meeting and somewhat lower energy prices. Indeed, the proportion of firms with a sustainability strategy has edged up to 62 percent, from just over half in a similar survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in early 2008. This rise was by no means a foregone conclusion a few years ago, but illustrates how the idea has caught hold within business. Senior executives interviewed for the current report often cited the depth of engagement with the issue as the most surprising thing about their organization’s sustainability policies. German industrial conglomerate Siemens, for example, now regards sustainability “not as a compliance topic, but as a strategy topic,” says Sören Buttkereit, Head of the company’s corporate sustainability external office.
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