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Not just good, but good for business

Maybe there’s something in the air.

We have recently had a new report from MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group suggesting that there has been a 23% increase in the number of companies profiting from their sustainability initiatives since last year. It’s now up to 37%1. And another study, commissioned by Edelman, the PR Group, revealed that 53% of 8000 respondents from 16 countries now consider ‘social purpose’ to be the most important factor in choosing a brand when price and quality are equal – a 26% rise since 20082.

One can speculate about the precise nature of the interconnectedness of these two findings. But never mind the chicken and egg debate for the moment. What matters is that they clearly are interconnected. And for businesses, the message is clear.

The integration of Sustainability (in its broadest sense) into an overarching corporate vision need no longer be an act of faith – build it and they will come. Rather it is becoming a compelling, evidence-based imperative – we have to build it because they’re already arriving.

It may be too soon to argue that we’ve reached some kind of tipping point. A quasi-chemical interaction that cannot now be stopped. A cursory ‘state of the world’ survey should be enough to dampen that kind of optimism. But clearly, these findings can only add weight to the argument. Sustainability isn’t just good, it’s good for business. 

1) The Innovation Bottom Line David Kiron, Nina Kruschwitz, Knut Haanaes, Martin Reeves and Eugene Goh

2) 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study

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