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Own Your Impact

Practical pathways to transformational sustainability

We’ve reached an inflection point. For some time, the role of business in sustainability has received steadily increasing attention from companies and their stakeholders. But over the past year, something changed for CEOs worldwide, and sustainability talk turned into action. Continued disruption – including upheaval from the pandemic – has society calling for a new approach to economic activities and business priorities.

IBM’s latest CEO study, drawn from interviews with 3,000 CEOs worldwide, reveals sustainability’s dramatic emergence onto the mainstream corporate agenda. For a few, this ascent is validation of long-held beliefs and years of planning. For most CEOs, however, an urgency to act is encountering the reality that turning sustainability aspirations and commitments into measurable results is easier said than done.

Many CEOs accept responsibility for the impact their organizations have on the environment and society. They also feel increasing pressure to act from all manner of stakeholders, many of whom are losing patience, frustrated by what they view as too much talk and too little action. After witnessing a proliferation of corporate sustainability pledges – from water positive and carbon negative to net zero and zero waste – some of these stakeholders are questioning what progress companies are making toward these goals.

Transformational sustainability occurs when sustainability becomes an integral part of an organization’s business strategy. More than an initiative, sustainability becomes core to the values of the organization. Leaders who embrace transformational sustainability recognize the opportunity to reshape major aspects of the enterprise. They view sustainability as a catalyst to define new business models, as well as deliver on community needs. Transformational sustainability embraces digital technologies strategically and operationally to drive sustainability outcomes while expanding economic opportunities.

Read this report and find out how CEOs, Public Leaders, General Managers, and Managing Directors from around the world share perspectives on leadership and business; their changing roles and responsibilities; and sustainability, including how they are addressing challenges, what they see as opportunities, and their visions for the future.

For any questions or requests contact your IBM Representative today.
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