The Climate Board is pleased to announce the release of its latest research, 2022 Sustainability Function Benchmarking Survey: Insights into Roles, Resources, Leaders, and Structures. 124 respondents told us how their companies fund, staff, and resource their sustainability functions. This Insight Note provides the complete survey results, with key considerations on how to enhance the sustainability function based on identified challenges and resource limitations.
The report covers how different organizational structures influence the responsibilities and resources of the sustainability function, where sustainability functions need additional support, what we can learn from the top challenges of sustainability functions today, and how sustainability funding and staffing vary across different organizations.
11 findings from the survey:
- Motivating internal change and defining ROI are common challenges—and they aren’t unrelated.
- Sustainability functions tend to have direct responsibility for goalsetting and communication tasks, while advising others on implementation.
- Larger companies don’t necessarily spend more on their sustainability functions, but those that do feel more confident.
- Larger companies tend to have larger sustainability teams, and team size is correlated with self-reported success.
- Most companies are allocating more resources to the sustainability function over time—and often substantially.
- Sustainability teams often have access to supporting resources, including resources funded by other functions.
- While a slight majority of companies are entrusting sustainability leadership to relatively junior staff, VP or C-suite titles are almost as common.
- Companies are most often betting on ESG expertise when choosing sustainability leaders. Other kinds of expertise critical to success may be less well represented.
- Internally-facing functions drive practical change but are potentially under-resourced.
- Externally-facing functions are relatively well-equipped, at least for measuring and reporting.
- CEO-reporting functions are small, potentially siloed, but brimming with confidence.
- Sustainability or other organizational leadership looking to enhance or grow the sustainability function
- Sustainability function leaders interested in benchmarking data to advocate for resources and funding
- Companies just beginning to develop their sustainability function, who want to know what other organizations are doing
- Eleven findings drawn from the survey results with key considerations for companies depending on how they’ve developed their sustainability function to date
- Graphs depicting the responses to each survey question, so that organizations can see how they compare
Download the Executive Summary
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