greenpiece: Green is the Word
Nearly 55 percent of United States executives say their organization has a formal sustainability strategy in place, according to the recent KPMG International study, "Corporate Sustainability: A Progress Report." Another 12 percent say they are working on a strategy and an additional 19 percent expect to eventually develop a formal plan.
The findings also confirm that U.S. companies are closing the gap with their counterparts elsewhere. More than 62 percent of executives globally say they have implemented a formal sustainability program, the study showed, which was released in connection with the launch of the new KPMG Global Center of Excellence in Climate Change & Sustainability, based in the Netherlands.
"These results are encouraging and we see highly focused companies continuing to make progress in developing and implementing sustainability strategies that they say result in greater profitability and efficiency," said John R. Hickox, who leads KPMG's Climate Change & Sustainability (CC&S) practice in the Americas.
"Many others remain challenged, however, as to what issues or measures they should use for reporting their environmental health, safety and corporate social responsibility program results to stakeholders—and how to utilize those metrics to transform their business operations," he added.
The KPMG study also found the drivers behind most sustainability programs—in this country and elsewhere–—have been customer influence and brand enhancement, while challenges included how to determine and measure program metrics, obtaining reliable internal sustainability data and meeting a variety of reporting requirements.
The study suggested many companies are finding strategic advantages in embracing and implementing a comprehensive, cohesive sustainability program. When asked to identify the top three benefits from their sustainability program, the executives most often chose: better or more efficient business processes and practices; increased profitability or shareholder value; and the ability to attract or retain new or existing customers.