The New Business Imperative: Tech-enabled Sustainability: How Businesses can protect People, Planet, and ProfitStereo Stage
Sustainability has emerged with force on top of the agenda of companies: 87% of German CEOs expect sustainability investments to produce improved business results within five years and 58% of German CEOs identify increasing sustainability as a top priority over the next 2—3 years.
IBM’s CEO study from this May, drawn from interviews with 3,000 CEO worldwide (90 from Germany), reveals that for the Majority of CEOs sustainability is now a top priority with immense pressure from their boards. For most CEOs, however, an urgency to act is encountering the reality that turning sustainability aspirations and commitments into measurable results remains challenging. We know from an earlier IBM study this year that while the majority has a strategy in place, only roughly 35% have acted on their sustainability strategy.
And what our latest study finds as well is this: a very small number of CEOs – in Germany 24 % (compared to 13% worldwide) are transformational, they are driving the sustainability agenda from the top. With conviction, with exponential technologies, a strong data foundation, open innovation and radical transparency to enable the pursuit of transformational sustainability. They are seeing clear benefits of a sustainability transformation and overtaking their peers - with completely new perspectives and opportunities around collaboration, co-creation and co-innovation across very diverse stakeholder groups: From joint data platforms between banks, technology players, academia and government organizations to scale up sustainable investments in emerging and developing countries (https://www.sustainablefinance.hsbc.com/sustainable-infrastructure/fast-infra-a-public-private-initiative) to large global accelerator programs to serve the companies most vulnerable to climate change (https://www.ibm.org/initiatives/environment/ibm-sustainability-accelerator).
However, why does the majority of organizations seem to be stuck and lacking the speed, impact and willingness to collaborate, to co-create and co innovate to executive on the sustainability imperative? What can we learn from real sustainability trailblazers?
In this discussion, we will reflect on the characteristics of transformational sustainability – driving sustainability with the power of data, technology and open innovation to success.