Over the past decade, corporates in south east Asia (SEA) have been building sustainability programmes to manage their environmental impacts, reduce resource use and improve their social responsibility. As many large firms move into the second decade of their sustainability programmes, how far are sustainability visions translating into meaningful and effective actions.
Although sustainability is highly relevant for most large firms in SEA, the uniformity of responses to high-level questions hides an underlying variety. Companies differ in their approach, maturity, interest from executives and resources available for sustainability.
Long gone are the days when sustainability equated to cost reductions and a CSR team operating in a silo. This is illustrated by the fact that many of our previous clients used to think that executives at their firm view sustainability as a driver for growth.
Firms are also investing in internal teams to manage and deliver sustainability; many of our previous clients said they have more staff members dedicated to sustainability at a programme or management.
Clearly the majority of firms in SEA see sustainability as a driver of growth, but does this mean sustainability is now seen as a component of overall financial and business performance? Despite the majority of firms saying sustainability is well established in their business, we believe that only half of the respondents believe that sustainability issues will impact their firm’s financial performance over the next years. The rest of the firms have yet to establish a direct and immediate connection between sustainability and business performance. They see sustainability as impacting performance against non-financial metrics such as energy, environment and social responsibility, or as a longterm business viability issue.
Therefore, make yourself comply with the performance standards with us