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A New Era of Sustainability
UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010

A New Era of Sustainability
CEO reflections on progress to date, challenges ahead and the impact of the journey toward a sustainable economy. Peter Lacy Tim Cooper Rob Hayward Lisa Neuberger June 2010

Contents

Foreword ...........................................................................02 Introduction .....................................................................03 Acknowledgement of CEO participants ....................05 Executive summary ........................................................10 1. Shifting gears: Sustainability is changing ...........16 2. Making progress: From strategy to execution ...32 3. Approaching a new era: The road ahead .............40 4. Accelerating the journey and competing in a new era of sustainability ......................................46 References and additional acknowledgements.......56

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Foreword

We come together at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 to mark a decade of progress in advancing the corporate sustainability movement globally. It is fitting that we use this occasion to understand the opinions and experiences of the member CEOs participating in the Global Compact, and use those insights to help set the sustainability agenda for the next ten years. There has perhaps never been a better moment to contribute to the debate about how, as we look to economic recovery following one of the most tumultuous periods in our history, we can start to rebuild the global economy in a sustainable way. The timeliness of this study is matched by its breadth. Nearly 1,000 CEOs, business leaders, members of civil society and academic experts have contributed to what is the largest CEO survey on sustainability of its kind to date. The global geographic and industry coverage of contributing CEOs further provided unique insights into the challenges and opportunities of the coming decade. It is a decade that, CEOs believe, could usher in a new era where sustainability issues are fully integrated into all elements of business and market forces are truly aligned with sustainability outcomes. The survey and conversations conducted as part of this landmark study make clear that today’s CEOs are more convinced than ever of the need to embed environmental, social and corporate governance issues within core business. But they are also convinced that good performance on sustainability amounts to good business overall: The imperative to act has shifted from a moral to a business case. Furthermore, executives see significant progress in executing their plans to integrate sustainability. Many challenges must be faced, however, before market forces can truly be aligned with sustainable development. For example, CEOs see that engaging with the investor community on new terms, improving the provision of education and skills, and measuring a new concept of value within organizations are critical conditions for change. Yet we also see a strong determination on the part of CEOs to take the necessary actions to meet these challenges. We hope that this first-hand voice of Global Compact CEOs will help set the agenda for the Leaders Summit 2010, and also shape the conversation on corporate sustainability over the coming years. As business, government and civil society leaders convene in New York to mark the tenth anniversary of the Global Compact, we believe that we can, together, set out a compelling collective vision for the future of the global economy. As we look ahead, we recognize the scale of the challenges that we face—but also recognize the huge potential of the Global Compact as a unique platform for engaging the economy’s most powerful force. If that potential is unleashed, we can build the necessary foundations of a new era of sustainability.

Georg Kell, Executive Director UN Global Compact

Bruno Berthon, Managing Director Accenture Sustainability Services

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Introduction
The...
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