KPMG and CIES find sustainability seen as driver rather than cost
KPMG and the World Food Business Forum (CIES) asked the world's major retailers and manufacturers where sustainability is going now
9 October 2008 | 0
From a survey jointly conducted by KPMG and the World Food Business Forum (CIES), it was found that many leading retailers and manufacturers see sustainability as a driver of innovation that can help build growth and profitability, rather than a cost. Nearly half of those questioned (47.7%) felt sustainability was an important driver of innovation, and 33.6% identified new product development in existing markets as the most important growth area. A majority (56.5%) stated that sustainability was now a core element of business strategy.
Those companies most positive about the impact of sustainability on their bottom line appear also the most concerned about their human capital (39%), according to the survey. The link is significant given the majority of organizations surveyed regard recruitment and retention as top of the list of challenges to their growth (30.6%), ahead even of a slowdown in consumer demand (29.7%) and increased costs of raw materials (27%).
However, some negative trends were identified also. The research reveals that a surprising number of companies (15.5%) are still without any sort of sustainability strategy, with businesses in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) being the worst offenders (18.6%). Also, just over half (52.8%) believe that sustainability investment will either be put on hold or reduced in an economic downturn, spelling further bad news for sustainability initiatives on the global stage.