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The UN Global Compact—Accenture CEO Study is the largest CEO study on sustainability ever conducted, with insights from more than 1,000 CEOs across 103 countries and 27 industries. Included are Industry Insight reports, intended as companion pieces, to be read alongside the global study to give a more in-depth perspective on business leaders’ views in key industry sectors.
This year marks the Global Compact’s third CEO study and the latest milestone in nearly a decade of research. Over the course of our three studies, during which we have been fortunate enough to conduct one-to-one interviews with more than 200 CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies, and collect the views of a further 2,000 through our online surveys, much has changed.
This year’s study is a unique opportunity to take stock as we stand at a crossroads in the global economy. Business leaders are committed to leading the way, but will require greater ambition and wider support as they work to align sustainability impact with value creation, and markets with sustainable development outcomes, such that business leaders can truly become the architects of a better world.
Insights gleaned from our interviews include:
Ninety-three percent of CEOs believe that sustainability will be important to the future success of their business
CEOs’ perceptions of the importance of sustainability vary by industry
CEOs see consumers and governments growing in importance in influencing their approach to sustainability
CEOs are increasingly market-focused in their motivations to invest in sustainability
CEOs do not believe that the global economy is on track to meet the needs of a growing population within planetary boundaries
CEOs do not believe that business is doing enough to address sustainability challenges
Unique insights from CEOs, supported by analysis from Accenture's High-Performance Business research, have identified seven themes that are enabling leading companies to achieve both value creation and impact on global sustainability challenges.
Realism and context: Understanding the scale of the challenge—and the opportunity
Growth and differentiation: Turning sustainability to advantage and value creation
Value and performance: “What gets measured gets managed”
Technology and innovation: New models for success
Partnerships and collaboration: New challenges, new solutions
Engagement and dialogue: Broadening the conversation
Advocacy and leadership: Shaping future systems
February 20, 2014
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