Five Ways That Sustainability Commitment Is Up — Dramatically

Sixty-eight percent of respondents to MIT SMR’s third annual global survey say their organizations increased their commitment to sustainability in the past year. That’s a dramatic increase from 2009, when only a quarter of respondents said that. Those are among first highlights featured in the current issue of MIT SMR.

Forty percent say their organizations have changed business models.

How much traction is sustainability gaining in the corporate world?

For three years in a row, MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group have conducted an annual Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study to examine that question and more.

This winter, we’ll be publishing the full results of the survey, which was conducted during June and July.

Five first look highlights of what we’ve heard:

  • 68% of respondents say their organizations increased their commitment to sustainability in the past year. That’s a dramatic increase from 2009, when only 25% of respondents said that.
  • 74% say they expect their organization’s commitment to sustainability to grow in the year ahead — also a big increase since the 2009 survey.
  • 67% say that sustainability strategies are necessary to be competitive. That’s a 12 percentage point increase from last year.
  • 40% of respondents say their organization has changed its business model as a result of sustainability.
  • Sustainability is increasingly important to top management, survey respondents say: 28% percent believe it’s a permanent and core strategic consideration, and 42% say that although it’s not a core consideration, it is nonetheless on the agenda to stay.

Additional details and charts are published in the Fall 2011 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review. The article was written by Nina Kruschwitz, managing editor and special projects manager of MIT SMR, and Knut Haanaes, a partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group and the global leader of BCG’s Sustainability Initiative.