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CEOs and Sustainability: How Priorities Vary By Field

A staggering 93% of CEOs believe that sustainability practices will be either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when it comes to the future successes of their business. The impact of sustainability, however, does vary by industry according to Fast Company’s analysis of a new study by Accenture and the UN Global Compact. CEOs who manage manufacturing …

A staggering 93% of CEOs believe that sustainability practices will be either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when it comes to the future successes of their business. The impact of sustainability, however, does vary by industry according to Fast Company’s analysis of a new study by Accenture and the UN Global Compact.

CEOs who manage manufacturing companies with large carbon footprints seem to have the most at stake when it comes to sustainability; 100% of automotive CEOs and 100% of consumer goods CEOs think that sustainability is crucial, whereas 68% of bankers and 22% of communications executives see sustainability as ‘very important’ for them. This entirely makes sense, as the environmental impact of these sectors is far different than those involved in manufacturing goods or automobiles.

Energy, infrastructure and transportation companies also generally believe that sustainability is critical to their future successes. But why is green business on the agenda at these companies? Is it about saving money during the manufacturing process or is it about creating a positive public perception? And even though CEOs will tell you that sustainability is important to them, do they really take the time to implement sustainable policies? Automobile CEOs do not entirely practice what they preach: 95% of CEOs agree that they should invest in training managers in sustainability, but only 52% actually do.

Read: CEOs See Sustainability As Engine for Growth But Industry Sectors Split On Priorities

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