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Managing Sustainability In A Post-Sustainability World

Date: 16 December 2016

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9 pages

Executive Summary

The concept of corporate sustainability has inspired business leaders to seek ambitious fundamental transformations in business models, operations and corporate governance practices. This ambition has stalled in recent years as firms struggle with systemic market challenges and an economic paradigm that rewards profitability and growth first and foremost. Verdantix analysis finds that while many elements of corporate sustainability are beneficial to business strategy and operations, the elusive goal of becoming a ‘sustainable business’ is a fluid concept that few executives can clearly define with tangible metrics. This report helps sustainability and EH&S directors ensure they focus on an agenda with a maximum chance of generating traction internally. Verdantix offers five recommendations to help senior executives make sustainability relevant within their organisations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Managing Sustainability In A Post-Sustainability World
What Has Sustainability Really Delivered For Businesses?
Sustainability Executives Face An Uphill Battle To Avoid Being Marginalized
Sustainability Will Maintain Relevance For Corporations Due To Long-Term Societal Concerns

How Should Firms Move Forward With Sustainability?
Firms Need To Push Materiality Further With A Short Term Business Filter To Realistically Engage Business Leaders

TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Five Steps For Sustainability Executives To Engage Business Leaders

ORGANISATIONS MENTIONED

Alcoa, Amazon, American Electric Power, American Standard Brands, Amgen, Anglo American, Apple, Blackrock, BNY Mellon, BT, Campbell Soup Company, CDP, Ceres, Colgate Palmolive, ConocoPhillips, cr360, Danone, Dell, Disney, DuPont, Enablon, Enel S.p.A, Energy Transfer Partners, Enviance, EU, EY, Ferrero, FMC Corporation, Gap, General Electric (GE), Google, GRI, H&M, Honda, IBM, Intelex, Interface, John Hancock, Johnson & Johnson, Kingfisher, Lenovo, Levi Strauss, Lloyds Banking Group, Lockheed Martin, MFS Investment Management, Microsoft, Nike, Northern Trust, NovoNordisk, Patagonia, PepsiCo, Polaris Industries, Sasol, SC Johnson, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Climate Group, The Dow Chemical Company, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Toyota, Twitter, Ultra-Poly Corporation, UnderArmour, Unilever, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Verizon, Verizon Foundation, Xerox Corporation, YouTube