Only one in eight businesses can be classified as “‘sustainable”
in 2019, according to new research from distributed energy company
Centrica Business Solutions.
The research, based on a global survey of more than 1,500
businesses, suggests that while the vast majority of respondents
don’t yet meet their sustainability criteria, doing so should be a
In fact, being “socially and environmentally responsible” is now
a top three business priority for a large proportion of surveyed
businesses, ahead of innovation.
This is a big change from a similar survey conducted two years
ago by Centrica Business Solutions, where environmental
responsibility ranked a low sixth on respondents’ priorities.
Why the shift?
According to the research, businesses are reporting increased
pressure from customers and stakeholders to be more sustainable and
environmentally responsible. Customers are exercising their power
through their purchasing habits, and organizations are responding
by developing products and services that are demonstrably more
environmentally-friendly, and also looking for low-carbon energy
Simultaneously, the challenges and risks facing today’s
businesses are increasing. Current business models are under
threat, natural disasters continue to grow in frequency, and impact
and compliance breaches are escalating. To safeguard against these
risks, businesses are pursuing a range of digitalization and
business transformation efforts. These initiatives are increasing
businesses’ reliance upon energy, necessitating the search for more
sustainable, affordable, and resilient options.
What does it take to be sustainable?
Working with influential analysts and business leaders, Centrica
Business Solutions has compiled a Sustainable Business Model, which
defines eight distinct characteristics of businesses that are
successfully balancing their economic and environmental
Although many businesses are making good progress in some areas,
the research indicates only a small number are meeting all of these
characteristics, and suggests much more can be done.
What can be done?
According to Centrica Business Solutions, the way organizations
generate and consume energy can have a significant impact on their
overall sustainability profile. By choosing more efficient,
resilient, and flexible energy options, businesses can be more
agile, customer focused and innovative. They can also actively work
toward improving the environment, and show evidence of sound,
Interestingly, this smart approach to energy is already on the
radar for 70% of businesses, which recognize they need to be more
flexible in terms of how they generate and use energy. Changing
views are also leading to a 10% increase in businesses choosing
energy efficient solutions. This is paving the way for investment
in smart, technology-led energy.
What steps should businesses take next?
Many organisations need to re-think their strategies to reflect
these market changes and their attitude to energy to make a direct
link between their business and energy strategies. The most
successful businesses give a member of the leadership team
responsibility for their energy strategy, roadmap and plan,
including specific/measurable targets and budget. The most
sustainable businesses are energy leaders with a mature approach to
energy, viewing it as a strategic asset and an opportunity, not
just a cost.
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Source: FS – All – Economy – News
Why sustainability is now on the C-suite agenda