One third of businesses worldwide don’t have sustainability programs in place, according to a survey from KPMG’s Climate Change and Sustainability group. Yet of those, 70 percent expect to have a program in place within one to five years.
60 percent of the 378 senior executives from a variety of industries and geographies surveyed said they have some type of sustainability initiatives in place. That number was just about 50 percent in 2008, when a similar study was done.
The study cites three main reasons for the slow pick-up of sustainability programs in the international business community.
Firstly, there is a lack of common metrics and understanding of what sustainability programs actually accomplish financially.
Along these same lines, two-thirds of the executives surveyed displayed a desire to establish clear and rigorous regulations that can be adopted globally; the lack of which was cited as another reason for slow progress.
The last reason was the lack of financing that would put sustainability on the same level with operations costs that have a higher short-term return on investment.
The report goes on to say that some groups like the Global Reporting Initiative and the International Integrated Reporting Committee are already developing common standards and benchmarking measurements.
“These are excellent examples of the progressive thinking that delivers the real value of a sustainability initiative within the entirety of a company’s activities,” said Ted Senko, global head of Climate Change and Sustainability (CC&S) at KPMG in a press release. “But again, it needs good quality information and analysis, and clear government commitment before businesses can broadly make these commitments with confidence.”