Sustainability Leaders’ Influence Growing

Verdantix Sustainability Leaders Survey

by | Nov 12, 2014

Verdantix Sustainability Leaders SurveySustainability leaders at high-revenue firms have growing influence, according to a Verdanitx survey, which finds 92 percent of responding companies have a sustainability officer who reports to the CEO or another member of the executive committee.

According to the global survey of 260 senior sustainability decision-makers, sustainability leaders have increasing executive committee influence, decision-making authority and budgetary contributions across 21 key initiatives spanning assurance, consulting, energy management, natural capital, reporting, supply chain and other sustainability activities.

Highlights from the report include:

  • CEOs increasingly recognize sustainability impacts financial performance: 28 percent of CEOs consider sustainability as factors that already impact quarterly and annual financial performance, compared to 21 percent in 2012.
  • CSOs’ budgets for sustainability vary dramatically: 65 percent of CSOs own budgets of up to $2.5 million; 26 percent have budgets between $2.5 million and $15 million; 5 percent have over $15 million; and 4 percent have no budget at all.
  • Firms favor spending on employees: 28 percent of sustainability budgets are invested on employees and 21 percent is spent on consulting services. Ten percent of budgets are spent on assurance providers.
  • Improving environment, health and safety, energy and sustainability reporting are top priorities: more than 90 percent of respondents cite improvements in health and safety, energy and environmental management as “very important” or “important.”
  • CSOs overwhelmingly publish sustainability reports but only half are third-party assured: eight out of 10 firms already publish sustainability reports but only 39 percent of firms pay for external assurance of their entire sustainability or integrated report.

A separate Verdantix report published last month aims to help CSOs and VPs of environmental sustainability understand the circumstances where natural capital — the finite stock of natural assets (air, water and land) from which goods and services flow — is relevant for their business, the risks involved in ignoring natural capital and the options available to them to implement sustainability strategies that take better account of natural capital.



Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

Share This