Thursday, July 19, 2007

What do CEO's say about sustainability? (Part 2)

Building on yesterday's discussion about perceptions of CEO's about the expectations of society regarding the public responsibilities of companies, today I move on to who CEO's think are having influence on their companies.

The 400 CEOs surveyed by McKinsey & Co cited that not fulfilling sustainability obligations would lead to declining market shares and loss of talent. It is not surprising to find that employees ranked highest (48%) when asked which stakeholder group will have the greatest impact on the way companies manage societal expectations. I was happy to see that customers was the second most important group following closely behind with 44%. Customers need to start voting with their dollar!

Local communities, regulators, media and NGOs came next, all scoring in the mid-20% range. Also interesting from GRI's perspective at the moment as we are going to focus the next year on engaging with report readers, such as the stakeholders listed above, to find out if they are indeed using report information to advance their relationships with companies.

Interestingly investors scored fairly low, only 16%. This doesn't bode well for the hope that many of have about the mainstream investor world waking up to the value of sustainability information. At the moment CEOs seem to think that environmental and social risks and opportunities are not on the minds of investors. A harsh wake up call that we have a long way to go still.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Very interesting Alyson, please continue to blog about the McKinsey report. The change will come from employees and consumers -- I'm glad to see that, it makes me optimistic.

On a less positive note from the Global Compact meeting, I was quite disappointed to see that out of the 153 CEO's who signed the "climate change statement" none of them where from the oil companies, let alone the "greener" companies such as BP, Shell, and Total.

Are they really committed to making strides forward, or is their marketing and PR getting all that much better?