A new Gartner, Inc. survey revealed that 87% 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% of executives, followed by investors (60%) and regulators (55%).
“Sustainability enables businesses to cope with disruption,” said Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner. “Economic uncertainty, geopolitical conflict and escalating materials and energy costs are forcing businesses to reexamine all forms of expenditure. This focus on essentialism, in combination with increasing stakeholder desire to see progress on environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, creates new opportunities for enterprises to grow while mitigating cost and risk.”
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.
Sustainability Protects Organizations from Disruption
The survey found that 86% of business leaders see sustainability as an investment which protects their organization from disruption. Additionally, 83% said sustainability program activities directly created both short- and long-term value for their organization, and 80% 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).