First Look: 2012 Sustainability Survey Findings

Results of the fourth annual sustainability and innovation survey, conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, are in.

Results of the fourth annual sustainability and innovation survey, conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, are in.

North America Lagging on Sustainability

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One key finding: North American companies are still lagging considerably in the integration of sustainability. Compared to companies in other countries, they have the lowest rate of business model innovation, and the fewest business model innovators who said that sustainability activities added to their profit.

Developing countries and emerging markets had the highest rate of innovation and profiting from sustainability. They were also, in response to questions not included in this figure, increasing their commitment to sustainability at the highest rate.

Asked which sustainability trends were most critical over the coming three years, energy scarcity and price volatility topped the list for every country and region. Issues around waste, and access to raw materials, were on average of equal concern vying for second place.

Energy is Sustainability Trend of Most Concern

View Exhibit

Climate change came in last. The exceptions were countries in regions already experiencing serious effects of climate change in terms of drought and weather events: companies located in Australia, New Zealand, and countries in the Asia Pacific region were almost twice as concerned about climate change in the next few years. Some countries, such as Australia, are already forging ahead to address both climate change and energy prices by developing their own carbon-emission trading schemes.

A preview article on the survey results will appear in the upcoming Winter issue of MIT SMR, followed by the full report in February.

1 Comment On: First Look: 2012 Sustainability Survey Findings

  • kpk2005 | December 11, 2012

    Interesting findings.

    It is not surprising that US is trying hard to sustain the commercial market pressures and thus the focus on Sustainability is slightly distracted.

    Innovation has been the US trait for long and it just takes a comfort zone to try it out but requires a commercial sustenance, again.

    Energy and raw material problems are more or less the same across the world. A fierce competition is clearly the in thing. It is now that the productivity and efficiency challenges are best solutions for profitability from the inside.
    This also indicates that the trends are not much for a radical change in the next couple of years,anyways. The strategies for sustenance and sustainability in a balanced mode need to be analysed in detail.

    A couple of observations need to be emphasized in detail, might help understand the trends in depth.

    1. Investments if the North American entities in the growing organization of South America, South Africa, Asia Pacific, etc.

    2. The new energy solutions that are coming up that and how accessible are they in the developing world.

    3. Would the global big players (investors) allow the growth prospects in the developing countries so that those economies can see profits and feel the comfort zone to contribute to Sustainability at their best.

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