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More and more businesses are incorporating sustainability as standard

Challenge 3

Sustainability

The issue of climate change has become much more significant and urgent in recent years. The public have become more vocal about it, regulation has increased and businesses are being more proactive about making sustainability a core part of their credentials.

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Many businesses – especially larger ones – view sustainability as a vital or important strategic goal.

The higher level of media attention that larger companies typically attract is a likely reason why 68% of these businesses believe that being sustainable is ‘absolutely necessary’ or ‘an important strategic goal’ for their organisation, compared to 62% and 52% of medium and small-sized businesses respectively.

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Future ready’ businesses are particularly keen to embrace sustainability.

Even small FRBs (those with fewer than 50 employees) are significantly more likely to recognise the importance of sustainability than large companies overall.

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China ranked first out of the ten countries surveyed, with 75% of firms rating sustainability as vital or important for their organisation.

A further 6% of businesses in China said it is a minor consideration, 19% feel it is not a core priority, and <1% stated that sustainability is not at all important for their organisation.

Base: Q32. 1,813 (All respondents)

Many businesses – especially larger ones – view sustainability as a vital or important strategic goal.

The higher level of media attention that larger companies typically attract is a likely reason why 68% of these businesses believe that being sustainable is ‘absolutely necessary’ or ‘an important strategic goal’ for their organisation, compared to 62% and 52% of medium and small-sized businesses respectively.

Future ready’ businesses are particularly keen to embrace sustainability.

Even small FRBs (those with fewer than 50 employees) are significantly more likely to recognise the importance of sustainability than large companies overall.

China ranked first out of the ten countries surveyed, with 75% of firms rating sustainability as vital or important for their organisation.

A further 6% of businesses in China said it is a minor consideration, 19% feel it is not a core priority, and <1% stated that sustainability is not at all important for their organisation.

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Eco-investing challenges

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Less than a fifth of firms in the Portugal have a clearly defined strategy to invest in sustainability, despite many more recognising the importance of it.

A further 35% often invest in sustainability, although it is not budgeted for, 36% make small investments from time to time, and 12% are unsure or not currently investing in it at all.

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Across all countries, ‘future ready’ businesses are the most prepared to allocate clear, defined funds to this cause.

They have sustainability incorporated at the core, with 51% of FRBs (vs. 26% of businesses overall) having a clear investment strategy. The vast majority of FRBs are actively contributing in at least some, 95% of these businesses vs. 86% overall.

Base: Q34. 1,813 (All respondents) Note: percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Less than a fifth of firms in the Portugal have a clearly defined strategy to invest in sustainability, despite many more recognising the importance of it.

A further 35% often invest in sustainability, although it is not budgeted for, 36% make small investments from time to time, and 12% are unsure or not currently investing in it at all.

Across all countries, ‘future ready’ businesses are the most prepared to allocate clear, defined funds to this cause.

They have sustainability incorporated at the core, with 51% of FRBs (vs. 26% of businesses overall) having a clear investment strategy. The vast majority of FRBs are actively contributing in at least some, 95% of these businesses vs. 86% overall.

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Stimulating sustainability

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Companies in the United Kingdom consider ‘our customers prefer to buy from/work with sustainable organisations’ to be their primary sustainability motivation.

45% of businesses here cited this reason as one of their top drivers to invest in sustainably. ‘A genuine sense of moral obligation’ was the second most popular reason for businesses in the UK.

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The most ‘future ready’ are particularly alive to the commercial opportunities – both on costs and opportunities.

‘It helps to drive innovation in efficiency and cost savings’ was cited by 42% of FRBs vs. 35% of businesses overall. FRBs however are slightly less likely to be driven by regulatory and legal requirements than other businesses.

Base: Q35. 1,606 (All respondents who are at least making small investments from time to time in sustainability)

Companies in the United Kingdom consider ‘our customers prefer to buy from/work with sustainable organisations’ to be their primary sustainability motivation.

45% of businesses here cited this reason as one of their top drivers to invest in sustainably. ‘A genuine sense of moral obligation’ was the second most popular reason for businesses in the UK.

The most ‘future ready’ are particularly alive to the commercial opportunities – both on costs and opportunities.

‘It helps to drive innovation in efficiency and cost savings’ was cited by 42% of FRBs vs. 35% of businesses overall. FRBs however are slightly less likely to be driven by regulatory and legal requirements than other businesses.

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Thinking green by tackling waste

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Businesses – especially the ‘future ready’ – are actively reducing waste in a number of different ways.

The most common actions include minimising single use plastics and introducing recycling schemes. FRBs meanwhile are acting more broadly and are significantly more likely to create new value chains from their own by-products (41% of FRBs vs. 22% of businesses overall).

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Compared to other sectors, Construction & Engineering firms are especially likely to have a comprehensive recycling program’.

42% currently have this vs. 36% of businesses overall. Companies in this sector are also the most likely to seek “circular” approaches to their business model.

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Actions to limit waste also vary by country. Businesses in the United Kingdom are the most likely of all to have a comprehensive recycling program’.

52% of businesses here have this vs. 39% of businesses overall. Many are also minimising the amount of single use plastics which they use – with the UK second only to Portugal in this area.

Base: Q37. 1,813 (All respondents)

Businesses – especially the ‘future ready’ – are actively reducing waste in a number of different ways.

The most common actions include minimising single use plastics and introducing recycling schemes. FRBs meanwhile are acting more broadly and are significantly more likely to create new value chains from their own by-products (41% of FRBs vs. 22% of businesses overall).

Compared to other sectors, Construction & Engineering firms are especially likely to have a comprehensive recycling program’.

42% currently have this vs. 36% of businesses overall. Companies in this sector are also the most likely to seek “circular” approaches to their business model.

Actions to limit waste also vary by country. Businesses in the United Kingdom are the most likely of all to have a comprehensive recycling program’.

52% of businesses here have this vs. 39% of businesses overall. Many are also minimising the amount of single use plastics which they use – with the UK second only to Portugal in this area.

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