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Global Sustainability Leaders Survey 2013: Budgets And Priorities

Date: 05 December 2012

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24 pages, 13 figures

Executive Summary

This report provides a global benchmark of sustainability priorities, budgets and governance based on interviews with 250 heads of sustainability in firms with revenues of at least $250 million. The respondents represent 21 industries and are located in 13 countries. The survey finds that sustainability leaders have broad responsibilities for energy, environment and sustainability initiatives, but often lack budgetary control and decision-making authority over those initiatives. According to the respondents, only 21% of their CEOs believe sustainability has an impact on financial performance today but 54% anticipate significant or transformational change in sustainability strategies by 2015. This global sustainability survey provides hard data against which sustainability leaders can benchmark their spending plans and priorities for 2013. The report also provides unique insights into governance and spending patterns for firms supplying products and services such as consulting, assurance, communications advice and software.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CEOS’ VIEWS ON SUSTAINABILITY REMAIN DIVIDED
CEOs’ Perceptions Of Sustainability Vary Dramatically
Half Of Firms Anticipate Significant Change In Sustainability Management By 2015

SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS HAVE BROAD RESPONSIBILITIES, BUT LITTLE AUTHORITY
Governance Of Sustainability Reflects A Lack Of Standard Models
Sustainability Leaders’ Responsibilities Cover Energy, Environment and Sustainability
Autonomous Decision-Making Is A Luxury; External Support Is The Norm

BUDGETS WILL BE FLAT IN 2013 WITH LIMITED UPSIDE
Heads Of Sustainability Lack Visibility Into Firm-Wide Sustainability Spend
Budgetary Control Does Not Match Sustainability Leaders’ Broad Responsibilities
Sustainability Spending Will Stay Flat Or Grow Moderately In 2013

IMPROVING ENERGY AND EH&S TOPS SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS’ ACTION LISTS
Cost Reduction And Reputation Management Drive Sustainability Investment
Performance Improvement Objectives Focus On Energy And EH&S Management
More Firms Will Engage In Sustainability Reporting And Assurance Activities In 2013

TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1. CEOs’ Perspectives On Sustainability
Figure 2.
Expected Change In Sustainability Management By 2015
Figure 3.
Sustainability Management Organizational Elements
Figure 4.
Sustainability Leaders’ Responsibilities
Figure 5.
Sustainability Leaders’ Decision-Making Authority
Figure 6.
Sustainability Spend As A Percentage Of Annual Revenue
Figure 7.
Sustainability Leaders’ Budgetary Control
Figure 8.
Expected Overall Sustainability Budget Change In The Next Financial Year
Figure 9.
Expected Sustainability Initiative Budget Change In The Next Financial Year
Figure 10.
Factors For Securing Sustainability Funding From CEOs
Figure 11.
Sustainability Activities’ Importance For Performance Improvement
Figure 12.
Sustainability Reporting This Financial Year And Next Financial Year
Figure 13.
Reasons For Investment In Sustainability Assurance

Verdantix clients should use this survey with the Global Sustainability Leaders Survey: Budgets And Priorities Data Tables for context and to understand the scope, underlying the structure and assumptions of the study.

Listen back to the webinar, Global Sustainability Leaders Survey: Budgets, Governance & Priorities, for key insights on this unique global sustainability spending data set.