Executive Briefings

Corporate Sustainability on the rise, But Key Stakeholders Remain Skeptical

Corporations that have pushed hard this last year to improve their performance in sustainability may now face a new challenge - a growing skepticism among professional investors, supply chain officials and recent higher education graduates. Such are the results of the 2012 Sustainability Leadership Report, now in its second year, which analyzes real vs. perceived sustainability performance for 100 leading global brands that collectively represent 16 percent of the world's economic output.

Leading brand consultancy Brandlogic and CRD Analytics created the report to help corporate managers measure their overall sustainability performance and chart a path to sustainability leadership. Supported by the Institute for Supply Management, the report is available for immediate download, click here.

The report reveals an about-face on perceived performance from the 2011 report. Last year, 66 of the 100 brands analyzed had perception scores ahead of their reality scores. This year, while 93 companies increased their real performance scores over last year - sometimes significantly - 68 of the companies saw a decline in their perception scores.

"Sustainability carries tremendous weight when it comes to corporate reputation," said James Cerruti, Brandlogic senior partner of strategy and research and author of the report. "Even as real performance rose for almost all of the brands we analyzed, average perceived performance dropped off when compared to 2011."

Other findings of the 2012 report remained more consistent with last year. For example, it was re-confirmed that sustainability factors heavily influence perceptions of good corporate citizenship. And once again, the social factors - like human rights, employment equality and product responsibility - are twice as important as environmental or governance factors.

To obtain the perception data, Brandlogic conducted a global research study in the summer of 2012, which included 2,500 participants who are "highly attentive" to sustainability issues including investors, supply chain managers, and graduating college and university students located in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, India and China. CRD Analytics' SmartView 360 platform was used to generate the real performance data, using quantitative and qualitative data from 141 performance metrics encompassing environmental, social and governance factors.

Source: Brandlogic

Leading brand consultancy Brandlogic and CRD Analytics created the report to help corporate managers measure their overall sustainability performance and chart a path to sustainability leadership. Supported by the Institute for Supply Management, the report is available for immediate download, click here.

The report reveals an about-face on perceived performance from the 2011 report. Last year, 66 of the 100 brands analyzed had perception scores ahead of their reality scores. This year, while 93 companies increased their real performance scores over last year - sometimes significantly - 68 of the companies saw a decline in their perception scores.

"Sustainability carries tremendous weight when it comes to corporate reputation," said James Cerruti, Brandlogic senior partner of strategy and research and author of the report. "Even as real performance rose for almost all of the brands we analyzed, average perceived performance dropped off when compared to 2011."

Other findings of the 2012 report remained more consistent with last year. For example, it was re-confirmed that sustainability factors heavily influence perceptions of good corporate citizenship. And once again, the social factors - like human rights, employment equality and product responsibility - are twice as important as environmental or governance factors.

To obtain the perception data, Brandlogic conducted a global research study in the summer of 2012, which included 2,500 participants who are "highly attentive" to sustainability issues including investors, supply chain managers, and graduating college and university students located in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, India and China. CRD Analytics' SmartView 360 platform was used to generate the real performance data, using quantitative and qualitative data from 141 performance metrics encompassing environmental, social and governance factors.

Source: Brandlogic