Environmental sustainability now permeates all aspects of business strategy, according to new research from HSBC, Navigator: Made for the Future. Sustainability is no longer a brand differentiator but has become pivotal to long-term success, driven by competition, customer demand, as well as investor and employee expectations.
Majority of respondents (57%) said they expect to make considerable investments in innovative technology plan to increase expenditure on sustainability, with 69% working to help their workforce use technology to reduce impact on the environment; and 29% acknowledging it is key to operational efficiency.
Businesses now regard sustainability as a way to create positive employee experiences with 24% of respondents using sustainability to recruit and retain the best people.
HSBC conducted an international survey assessing the sentiment and expectations of businesses in the near to mid-term future with more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries.
Key findings come from Navigator: Made for the Future survey include:
1. 81% of companies say ethical and environmental sustainability is important to them and 83% want to be a genuinely ethical or environmentally sustainable company. Almost one in five (17%) companies globally plan to increase their emphasis on their ethical and environmental standards. This is higher for companies in emerging market countries (21%) than those in developed markets (15%).
2. One in five companies globally (20%) say they’ve had greater control of their supply chain over the last two years. This presents a timely opportunity for businesses to assess their networks and take action to become more sustainable, which can help you remain competitive in an increasingly demanding trading environment.
3. Almost a third (31%) of businesses globally will be looking to make changes to their supply chains related to sustainability. Improving sustainability outcomes is the highest objective (27%) for making supply chain changes after reducing cost (38%) and increasing profits/ revenue (36%).
4. Cost savings and higher profits are a huge driver of sustainability supply chain changes. 84% of businesses are making ethically or environmentally sustainable changes to their supply chains to support cost efficiencies while 84% of companies are looking to make ethically or environmentally sustainable changes to improve revenues and financial performance.
5. 85% of businesses want to achieve a sustainability standard recognised by their sector or market and 84% say it’s important to be perceived as ethically or environmentally sustainable.