Published : October 2022
Any company serious about competing in the climate-conscious economy must have an effective sustainability function. Yet The Climate Board’s members and research network consistently report great uncertainty about the resources, responsibilities, and relationships that function should have.
We conducted a survey to understand how companies around the world are addressing these unresolved questions. Our analysis reveals that sustainability functions have wind in their sails when it comes to funding patterns and executive attention. Budgets are growing and sustainability often works closely with top leadership. At the same time, it lays bare a dangerous disconnect between stated goals and concrete action, especially when it comes to climate. Ambitious goals are more than twice as common as meaningful action. Finally, it suggests that sustainability functions, when properly resourced and integrated, can help to bridge that gap.
The results of our survey are intended to inform wiser and more confident decisions that lead to more effective sustainability functions and more robust climate action.Intended audience:
- 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
- Conceptual overview of opportunities and obstacles
- 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