Survey: Sustainability improves business results

NTT DATA has published the results of a global survey on corporate sustainability. The aim of the study was to identify the most effective business practices for promoting sustainability goals. […]

In the report entitled “Innovating for a Sustainable Future”, NTT, in collaboration with ThoughtLab, found that 44 percent of companies experience improved profitability as a result of their commitment to sustainability. This shows that sustainability programs today are both an ethical and an economic necessity to drive positive change and achieve better financial results. In addition, 69 percent of executives worldwide believe that digital innovations are the key to achieving sustainability goals in environmental, social and economic areas, according to a statement from NTT Data.

Key findings of the study

The study is based on a survey of executives from 500 companies from seven industries and eight world markets. It examines how companies integrate sustainability into their business strategies and what results they achieve in the process. The most important findings:

  • The survey shows that companies are taking sustainability practices more seriously today than ever before. Of the companies surveyed, 68 percent stated that building a sustainable future is a top priority for their board members.
  • About 4 out of 10 leading companies report higher profitability from their sustainability programs, and this percentage will increase to more than half in two years. The improved profit margins result from two aspects: cost savings due to lower energy consumption, less waste and other efficiency improvements, as well as sales increases due to higher customer loyalty and employee productivity.
  • The pandemic proved to be a turning point for many companies: 47 percent stated that the pandemic has increased the importance of sustainability goals.
  • As the most important advantages of sustainability initiatives, 33 percent of companies experienced a cost reduction through improved efficiency, 32 percent recorded more innovations or new business models and 24 percent recorded sales growth as a result.
  • Only 12 percent of companies worldwide describe sustainability as a “lip service”, and almost four out of ten companies state that customers, employees, shareholders and the general public expect them to make positive changes.

Vito Mabrucco, Head of Global Marketing at NTT, summarizes: “The world’s population is increasingly focusing on the health and well-being of people and the planet. Accordingly, we observe an increased commitment of companies to introduce and promote sustainable business practices. The study shows that the health of people and the planet on the one hand and entrepreneurial success on the other hand are not mutually exclusive – sustainability and profitability are mutually dependent.“

Stefan Hansen, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of NTT DATA DACH, agrees: “The legislator’s demands on companies to make their entrepreneurial activities sustainable along the value chain and to report on them are rightly increasing. Digital technologies give us unimagined new opportunities to generate profits on the basis of completely new business models. At the same time, they support us in achieving our sustainability goals. For example, by making the effects of all participants in the supply chain on people, the environment and the climate visible. In this way, growth and sustainability can go hand in hand.“

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