Research Providing a Roadmap for Creating Value through Sustainability

At the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, AccountAbility has released the preliminary findings of a research initiative, conducted in partnership with the UN Global Compact (UNGC), that will serve as a highly actionable how-to guide to help companies derive maximum value from their sustainability commitments.

Companies today are increasingly being asked to commit to higher levels of performance through an expanding number of sustainability commitments, at times having to navigate through a cumbersome mix of performance standards, outcome metrics, and reporting requirements. To better understand the challenges and opportunities companies face within the sustainability commitment arena, AccountAbility conducted research to find out how companies are approaching and implementing sustainability commitments, and to identify and highlight good practice for future adoption, implementation, and advancement of the commitments companies choose to make.

The focal point of the research is the Sustainability Commitment Growth Curve (SCGC). The SCGC is a powerful framework that will help companies:

  • Determine why and how they make a commitment.
  • Identify and implement what needs to be done to derive increased return and impact from these commitments.
  • Use sustainability commitments as a strategic governance and management tool to improve overall operational performance.

Ted Grant, AccountAbility director of research and development, stated, “We were fortunate to have so many first-rate global companies participate in the research. The results demonstrate that companies are getting real value from their commitments. The SCGC is a tool that will guide companies through the selection and successful execution of their commitments, maximizing value for the company and its stakeholders.”

Of the participants that responded to the 2012 Global Compact Implementation Survey, 51% indicated that they join other voluntary initiatives in addition to the Global Compact, and of these companies, over 70% have adopted multiple commitments.

“Given the investment that companies make in terms of time and money, they are beginning to take a closer look at which initiatives they should be committing to, how they can get the most value and impact out of the commitments they have made, and how they can leverage these commitments to enhance business performance,” commented Grant.

“Companies are facing increasing pressure to demonstrate greater return on their investments,” said AccountAbility CEO Sunny Misser, “Sustainability investments can have real and quantifiable impacts. This research reinforces the idea that a structured approach to measuring and managing a company’s sustainability commitments has a direct effect on its overall performance.”

View the preliminary results of the study.

For more about AccountAbility and this research initiative.

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