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Corporate Marketers Foresee Greater Investments in Sustainability

fh-chartNearly 60 percent of corporate marketers expect their companies to increase environmental sustainability initiatives over the next two to three years, according to a survey conducted by the American Marketing Association and Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. Half of the respondents also believe that current economic conditions will encourage the adoption of sustainability practices.

Not surprisingly, more than half of those surveyed believe that sustainability is crucial to their company’s reputation. Nearly three-quarters believe that corporate reputation, corporate culture and technological advancements will be the drivers for sustainability. The Obama administration’s policies also will drive the adoption of corporate sustainability programs, according to 63 percent of respondents.

The survey also reveals that how companies chose to communicate their sustainability commitment is mixed. About 43 percent of the respondents predict their companies to increase marketing of their sustainability programs, although more than half of those surveyed do not expect to increase their marketing of sustainability programs.

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A recent survey conducted by Booz & Co. tells another story, indicating that the economic recession is postponing some sustainability-related corporate spending.

Similarly, key findings of a United Nations corporate responsibility survey indicates the there are implementation gaps in adopting responsible business practices, particularly in the areas of supply chain management and subsidiary engagement. The UN survey includes more than 700 Global Compact business participants in 90 countries.

The survey reveals deficits in engaging corporate supply chains: Only seven percent of respondents currently require suppliers to join the Global Compact, while 27 percent reference the initiative in supplier contracts. In addition, only 30 percent of companies with subsidiaries require them to implement the Global Compact and its principles and assess progress made.

Yet, the survey shows that more companies are now disclosing their practices under the Global Compact’s mandatory disclosure framework, also known as the Communication on Progress (COP). More than 1700 COPs were submitted in 2009, a 25 percent increase over 2007. But more than 400 business participants were delisted in 2008 for repeated failure to communicate progress.

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One thought on “Corporate Marketers Foresee Greater Investments in Sustainability

  1. “Incorporation of Legal Risk Imperative in complementing Ernst & Young Stress Pendulum”

    The article ‘Sustaining Our Future” by Azwan Baharudding, Partner, Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn BHd
    Malaysia (Starbiz, The Star, p B6-19.08.2009) raised several relevant determinants in the ‘EY Stress Pendulum’.

    All the components contained in the Ernst & Young Stress pendulum are practical markers/indicators that require specific actions to achieve sustainability.

    There is however one cruucial factor that ought to have been included in that Ernst & Young Stess Pendulum, failing which it does not represent a complete pendulum that would swing towards
    real sustaianbility in the corporate world. That factor is the Legal Risks Managment component (‘LRM’).

    In the corporate world since the meltdown of Enron and other well known US corporate trade mark entities that snowballed towards current global financial diasater,
    corporate giants around the world have include LRM in their corporate managment purview side by side financial management.

    Post Lehman Brother’s saga pointed towards taking decisive management action by not just focusing on similar stress pendulum approach but by incorporating the LRM component within the Corporate Sustainability Roadmap.

    Jeong Chun-phuoc*

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