Becoming sustainability leaders

Most leaders and experts now see their companies as leaders in sustainability—a turnaround from last year

The Americas, in particular, saw a dramatic shift, with the portion of self-described leaders more than tripling in one year.

This new viewpoint is reflected in interviews where leaders and experts tend to speak of their organizations’ sustainability efforts not as a burden, but rather as a source of pride for employees and a necessary step to stay competitive in the future. “Some of our clients from Europe and the United States started to remind us to reduce emissions, and sooner or later, we will have to do it,” says Miro Lin of Fair Friend Group, a machine and equipment manufacturing firm. “So why not take the initiative to do it in advance?”

Kim Dabbs of furniture manufacturer Steelcase sounds a note of caution about leaders becoming complacent with their companies’ sustainability efforts. “The work that we do is forever work,” she says. “No matter how much progress we make, there’s always going to be more to do, it’s great that people are optimistic, but I hope they stay grounded in the science and maintain their commitments without losing that sense of urgency.”

Companies increasingly see themselves as sustainability leaders

Survey question: My company is leading the way in this industry when it comes to sustainability initiatives. 5-point scale. Top two = agree.

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