A new global study by McKinsey and Company found that companies are rallying behind sustainability and are aligning sustainability with their business goals. CEOs are twice as likely as they were in 2012 to say sustainability is their top priority.

That’s the good news.

Lack of Accountability

The bad news is that the study found a diminishing level of accountability for sustainability:

“…accountability is an increasing concern: 34 percent of executives (compared with 23 percent in 2011) say too few people at their companies are accountable for sustainability. At companies that aren’t pursuing sustainability activities, respondents continue to cite a lack of leadership prioritization as the top challenge to taking action.”

As Tom Paladino, founder and President of Paladino, wrote in a post entitled The Future of Sustainability:

“…there will be the emergence of a very senior C-suite real estate professional within the enterprise that will oversee and link all its sustainability programs, from corporate social responsibility to real estate construction. For the most part, that person doesn’t exist now. There is a lack of overall strategy for sustainable real estate portfolio programs. No one is measuring if the real estate spend creates business value for the organization.”

Key Findings

This exhibit shows that more and more companies are addressing sustainability to align with their business goals.

McKinsey accountability for sustainability

Company leaders and all others increasingly see sustainability as a top CEO priority.

McKinsey sustainability accountability

If CEOs and company leaders increasingly see sustainability as a priority, then why aren’t they empowering a new senior sustainability executive to ensure that it happens?

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One Comment

  1. Unfortunately, that’s the reality I see in most of the companies: they market themselves as being concerned about sustainability but when it comes to really doing something and being committed, that’s another story.

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