More than 90 percent of CEOs are doing more than they did five years ago to incorporate environmental, social and governance issues into strategy and operations, according to a survey of chief executives participating in the Global Compact.
Seventy-two percent of CEOs said that corporate responsibility should be embedded fully into strategy and operations, but only 50 percent think their firms actually do so. Almost 60 percent of CEOs said corporate responsibility should be embedded into global supply chains, but only 27 percent think they are doing so.
The study is one of three presented today at the Global Compact Leaders Summit that show that an increasing number of business leaders see corporate responsibility as a way to compete successfully and to build trust with stakeholders -? and that sustainability front-runners in a range of industries can generate higher stock prices.
A report released by Goldman Sachs showed that among six sectors covered -? energy, mining, steel, food, beverages, and media -? companies that are considered leaders in implementing environmental, social and governance policies to create sustained competitive advantage have outperformed the general stock market by 25 percent since August 2005. In addition, 72 percent of these companies have outperformed their peers over the same period.
The UN Global Compact also released its first Annual Review found that a majority of survey respondents have policies in place related to human rights, labour conditions, the environment and anti-corruption. Seventy-five percent of respondents have engaged in cross-sector partnerships with one or more of the following sectors: non-governmental organizations, business, academia, the UN, and other multi-lateral organizations. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they participate in the Global Compact to increase trust in the company.
A recent Reuter’s article reported that U.S. firms have been slow to join a U.N. initiative on social and environmental responsibility in business because of perceptions it has no teeth,