Global sustainability experts SustainAbility and GlobeScan have once again teamed up to report on their annual “Sustainable Leaders Survey.” The survey has been tracking expert opinion and leadership trends in the ever-evolving sustainability agenda for more than twenty years. For the 2016 survey, the first since the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they questioned more than 900 sustainability leaders from business, government, academia and, NGOs and progress in advancing sustainability.
And for the first time, Sustainable Brands joined in the effort. The new partnership enabled the group to extend the survey reach well beyond North America and Europe, into Asia, Latin America, and Africa, areas that they had not been able to fully reach before. The result is a deeper, better-informed portrait of sustainability leaders right around the globe.
As before, they asked respondents to name the three companies they consider the leaders in integrating sustainability into larger business strategy. And this year, leveraging their now global reach, they were able to identify sustainability leaders by region.
Key findings from the 2016 survey include:
- The private sector is facing increasing expectations to play an ever-larger role in advancing sustainable development; most experts believe that the business leaders share equal responsibility with national governments for advancing sustainability.
- As before, Unilever is widely regarded as the global corporate leader in sustainability; Patagonia follows in North America, while Woolworths leads in Africa, Natura in Latin America, and Tata in Asia.
- The survey continues to find that values, purpose, and integration are the top drivers that experts named as reasons why they considered certain companies to be global corporate leaders.