Learning how the world’s movers and makers are approaching the transition to a sustainable global economy.
The transition to a sustainable economy is one of the biggest challenges that business leaders have ever faced. With a global focus on improving sustainability, companies in all sectors and geographies – along with governments, consumers and other stakeholders – must play a part.
The Sharp End of Sustainability presents the findings of a global opinion research study, commissioned by Castrol in 14 markets around the world, to learn how these movers and makers of the global economy (the automotive, industrial, manufacturing and marine sectors) are approaching the transition. The sample included 1,180 business leaders and 1,680 operational professionals.
For these sectors, sustainability is seen as essential to commercial success: over three-quarters (76%) of business leaders and 68% of operational professionals in this study said that improving the sustainability of their business is key to meeting customer needs.
To begin to tackle the sustainability challenge and to remain a trusted partner for their customers, business leaders need to know where to focus. And who better to consult with on their approach than the operational professionals on the ground who are responsible for making the company strategy a reality?
This study identifies five key learnings from those professionals, the people who will ultimately be tasked with turning strategy into action.
Improving efficiency could be the ‘low hanging fruit’ for energy-intensive companies in their quest to reduce carbon emissions. More than seven in 10 (72%) operational professionals in this study believe the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is improving energy efficiency.
To track progress, form strategies and raise investment for sustainability initiatives, robust and reliable data is important. More than three-quarters (76%) of business leaders in this study believe their business needs to get better at managing data to inform the best areas to focus on to improve sustainability.
For resource and energy intensive businesses, reducing waste could be one of the first steps in their sustainability programme.
Only 55% of business leaders say that reducing waste to landfill is an important part of their business’ sustainability strategy.
Unless sustainability strategies are understood, supported and actioned by the workforce, meaningful progress may be a challenge.
But business leaders in this research believe just 40% of their employees understand their sustainability strategy, and even fewer support and agree with it.
According to operational professionals, lack of leadership, vision and targets could be hindering progress. Almost half (48%) of operational professionals in this study are not convinced that their leaders are fully committed to their organisation’s sustainability strategy.