A new Gartner, Inc. survey revealed that 87 percent of business leaders expect to increase their organization’s investment in sustainability over the next two years. Customers are the primary stakeholder group creating pressure for organizations to invest or act on sustainability issues, selected by 80 percent of executives, followed by investors (60 percent) and regulators (55 percent).
The survey was conducted in June and July 2022 among 221 respondents in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. Respondents were executives in director roles or above within organizations with enterprise-wide annual revenue of at least $250 million for fiscal year 2021, which are currently engaged in sustainability-related activities.
The survey found that 86 percent of business leaders see sustainability as an investment which protects their organization from disruption. Additionally, 83 percent said sustainability program activities directly created both short- and long-term value for their organization, and 80 percent indicated that sustainability helped their organization optimize and reduce costs.
Specifically, the top areas where survey respondents said sustainability programs are mitigating cost increases are energy consumption, business travel and customer transactions (see Figure 1).
Sustainability can also enable new value creation and business growth opportunities. Fifty-seven percent of business leaders said the enterprise sustainability program has a strong connection to the results on the income statement, and 42 percent of respondents are leveraging their sustainability activities to drive innovation, differentiation and enterprise growth through sustainable products.