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Walking the Talk on Sustainability

While some companies are making clear progress with sustainability, many organizations are still struggling to move forward, according to a global survey by BCG and MIT Sloan Management Review.

  • Creating a sustainability strategy
  • Making sustainability a top management agenda item
  • Developing sustainability business cases
  • Measuring progress on corporate sustainability performance
  • Defining new business models to address significant sustainability issues
  • Pursuing partnerships—with some combination of suppliers, NGOs, governments, and competitors—to drive impact

The percentage of companies that have either established a sustainability business case, or are currently trying to, has grown from 30% to 45% over a five-year period. Although that's progress, it falls far short of the 65% that report sustainability is on their organization's top management agenda. Nearly one-third of respondents either failed to establish a business case or hadn’t even tried to create one.

“Walkers”—companies that have learned to “walk the talk” on sustainability—have done so by:

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