Since 2008 the business world has been going through a sustainability revolution. The impact of this revolution will rival or even exceed the impact of both the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Success in business can no longer be defined by financial performance alone without considering environmental, ethical and social performance as well.
Customers, investors and governments are demanding sustainability in business. According to Booz & Co. socially responsible investments
will reach $26.5 trillion assets under management by 2015 – over 15% of the global total.
Eurosif estimates the 2010 European High Net Worth Individuals sustainable investment market to be approximately €729 billion, an average of
about 11% of European HNWIs’ portfolios as of December 31, 2009.
This represents a growth rate of 35% over the two year period since the data was initially
collected – and Eurosif predicts that by 2013 the share will have increased to 15%, just below the €1.2 trillion mark.
As well Ispos Reid conducted a survey for Standard Life that found that 10% of Canadian investors have made a socially responsible investment – and that number increases to 13% among higher net worth Canadians who have investments of $200,000 or more.
Look at the social upheaval that is fueling this dramatic and permanent business shift. The Occupy movement has united large segments of society in protest of the many inequities in our current political, economic, banking and fiscal models.
Arab Spring – citizens across the Middle East are demanding more transparency and a greater say in government and spending processes. As well the ongoing instability in Russia, the EU and other parts of the world are giving rise to a growing voice demanding greater accountability, more ethical behavior and a focus on the social and environmental impact of current business practices.
Leading global corporations across every business sector are rapidly deploying their own unique approaches to sustainable business operations in order to remain relevant, maintain customer loyalty, increase market share and give their business practices the capacity to endure.