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The best and the rest: the sorry state of sustainability today

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Forbes or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Robert G. Eccles discusses the evolving role of Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs), highlighting a shift from PR-focused roles to strategic integration in business operations, particularly in leading companies
• Despite this progress, a global survey conducted with GlobeScan and Salesforce reveals a significant gap between the best practices and the general state of sustainability integration within most companies

🔭 The context: The article is based on Eccles' and Alison Taylor's previous work and a recent global survey that illustrates the disparity in sustainability practices
• While leading companies show strategic integration of sustainability, the majority lag behind, evidenced by insufficient senior management attention, inadequate capital allocation to sustainability, and a lack of high-quality data on sustainability performance

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The findings underscore a concerning gap in sustainability efforts, with most companies failing to fully integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues into their core strategies
• This reflects poorly on global efforts to address climate change and sustainability, highlighting the need for more comprehensive and genuine commitment from businesses

⏭️ What's next: The article calls for more work to align rhetoric with reality in sustainability practices. It suggests that adopting standards from the International Sustainability Standards Board, among others, could link sustainability more clearly to value creation, but stresses that standards alone will not ensure performance without significant effort from companies to improve their sustainability practices

💬 One quote: "Most companies seem poorly equipped to [implement the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive] should it be passed," says Robert G. Eccles, reflecting on the challenges businesses face in aligning sustainability with value creation

📈 One stat: Only 37% of respondents in a global survey view sustainability as very integrated into their business core, indicating a significant integration gap

Click for more news covering the latest on environment sustainability

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