Sustainability and social initiatives, how we have advanced
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A global study reveals that 94% of people consider that society has not advanced enough in terms of sustainability and social initiatives, and expect companies to take a step forward.
This is reflected in “No Planet B”, a study conducted by Oracle and Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor and Instructor for Harvard Professional Development, where they highlight that technology can help companies succeed where humans have failed.
“The events of the last two years have put sustainability and social initiatives under the microscope and people are demanding real change. While it is true that there are challenges in addressing these issues, companies have an immense opportunity to change the world for the better.”, explains Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor and Instructor for Harvard Professional Development.
Greater social and sustainability effort
The events of the last two years have put a spotlight on sustainability and social efforts, people around the world are fed up with the lack of progress and are calling on companies to step up:
- 93% of people believe that sustainability and social initiatives are more important than ever, and 80% believe that the events of the last two years have made them change their actions.
- 94% believe that society has not advanced enough. 42% attribute the lack of progress to people being too busy with other priorities, 39% believe this is the result of greater emphasis on short-term benefits over long-term ones, and 37% believe that people are too lazy or selfish to help save the planet.
- 45% believe that companies are capable of making a more significant change in terms of sustainability and social initiatives than individuals or governments alone.
- 78% are frustrated and fed up with the lack of progress companies are currently making, and 89% believe it’s not enough for companies to say they prioritize social, environmental and governance (ESG), they need see actions and tests.
- 84% believe that companies would make further progress towards social and sustainability goals with the help of AI, and 61% even believe that AI will succeed where humans have failed.
Have we really made progress in sustainability and social initiatives?
What stops companies
Business leaders know that sustainability efforts are critical to corporate success and even rely on AI over humans to drive sustainability and social efforts:
- 92% believe that sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs are critical to the success of their organizations. Executives identified the top three benefits of such programs: strengthening the brand (40%), increasing productivity (39%) and attracting new customers (38%).
- Nearly all business leaders (91%) face major obstacles in implementing ESG and sustainability initiatives. The biggest challenges include obtaining ESG metrics from partners and third parties (3%); lack of data (33%); and time-consuming manual reporting processes (32%).
- 96% of business leaders admit that biases and human emotions often distract from the bottom line, and 89% believe that organizations that use technology to help drive sustainable business practices will be the ones that succeed in the long term.
- 93% of business leaders would trust a bot over a human to make social and sustainability decisions. They believe AI is better at collecting different types of data without error (43%), making rational and unbiased decisions (42%), and predicting future outcomes based on past performance and metrics (41%). ).
- Business leaders believe that people remain essential to the success of sustainability and social initiatives, and believe that they are better at implementing changes based on stakeholder feedback (48%); educate others on the information needed to make decisions (46%); and make informed strategic decisions based on context (42%).
People will cut ties with companies that don’t take action
- Companies must prioritize sustainability and social aspects and rethink the use of technology to make an impact, or risk big consequences.
- 94% of people want to advance in terms of sustainability and social actions to establish healthier lifestyles (50%); save the planet for future generations (49%); and help create more equality in the world (46%).
- 70% of people would be willing to cut their relationship with a brand that is not serious about sustainability and social initiatives, and 69% would even leave their current company to work for a brand that is more focused on these efforts.
- If organizations can clearly demonstrate the progress they are making on environmental and social issues, people would be more willing to pay more for their products and services (87%), invest in their companies (83%) and work for them (83 %).
- Business leaders understand the importance and urgency: 94% believe sustainability and social metrics should be used to report on traditional business metrics, and 91% want to increase their investment in sustainability.