Sustainability: The Next Generation

Published in November 2011, this event paper accompanied our Green Strategy 2011 Summit.

“Sustainability” as a business concept is always changing. And it may be going through its most profound period of change to date, spurred by global megatrends and accelerated by the apparently stagnating western economies. It is simultaneously unnerving and exciting, with rewards for those who can see clearly through the disruption.

This report seeks to help decision makers find that clarity. It looks at sustainability as a board room issue, primarily focused on revenues and margins and in the process it explores the correlation between companies that are becoming part of the solution and are finding commercial value.

Our main concern has been to identify the gap between the leading strategies and the broader market, and how organisations can close that gap. We define leadership through the strategies of three companies, each with strengths in different areas of strategy. M&S, for its outstanding change management programme; PepsiCo for its pioneering supply chain strategy; and Nissan for its audacious resource efficient product programme.

The survey, filled in by 297 people at large UK organisations, identifies the gap between our three case studies and the broader market.