Canadian Management Centre Commissions Global Sustainability Survey: People, Planet, Profits

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Canadian Management Centre a leader in Canadian career training and development, in conjunction with our affiliates at American Management Association International (AMA) annually funds 3-4 major global research studies. The 2007 AMA/CMC/HRI Sustainability Survey of 1,365 respondents looks at not only the degree to which organizations are using sustainability approaches but also how this differs among higher-performing and lower-performing organizations, as determined by self-reports in the areas of revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction. This report examines the history of the sustainability paradigm, the factors that are making the paradigm more compelling, the degree to which organizations value and engage in sustainability-related practices, and the future outlook for sustainability.

Canadian Management Centre a leader in Canadian career training and development, in conjunction with our affiliates at American Management Association International (AMA) annually funds 3-4 major global research studies. The 2007 AMA/CMC/HRI Sustainability Survey of 1,365 respondents looks at not only the degree to which organizations are using sustainability approaches but also how this differs among higher-performing and lower-performing organizations, as determined by self-reports in the areas of revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction. This report examines the history of the sustainability paradigm, the factors that are making the paradigm more compelling, the degree to which organizations value and engage in sustainability-related practices, and the future outlook for sustainability.

Creating a Sustainable Future: A Global Study of Current Trends and Possibilities

Below is a summary of the full report. Download the complete version complimentary of Canadian Management Centre at http://www.cmctraining.org/whitepapers

Businesses already know a thing or two about sustainability. Sometimes, just keeping the doors open can be a challenge. Fending off competition, dealing with downturns, meeting payrolls, finding new customers, making profits--it's all about sustaining the organization into the future.

So, the modern concept of "sustainability" has a certain commonsense element to it. It's obvious that organizations need the financial wherewithal to sustain operations, just as it's obvious that they've got to have the right kind of workers to make it happen. What might be a little less obvious to the average business leader, however, is that companies are part of a larger system, and the well-being of that system has a direct impact on the well-being of all the organizations in that system.

Let's say you're in food distribution, for example. The price of fruits and vegetables is directly related to the health of the larger agricultural system. If farms are suffering through a drought or encountering a virulent strain of pests, they'll have a hard time growing things and the prices will go up. The same thing occurs if energy prices rise and the cost of shipping goes up. This can influence the food distributor's bottom line and, over time, perhaps even his or her ability to sustain the business.

So organizations are dependent on and impact larger systems, which themselves are at risk. In other words, sustainability means more than what is ordinarily understood. The primary goal of sustainability is ensuring that whole systems remain healthy so that people--as individuals, societies, and organizations--improve their overall chances of well-being.

This means expanding the organizational viewpoint beyond the short-term need for profits or qualified employees. Sustainability encompasses these, of course, but also the wider social and environmental systems. A shorthand description for these systems is sometimes "people," "planet," and "profits."

Below is a quick review of the some of the main findings:

  •     Respondents personally care more about sustainability issues than they think their organizations do, especially when it comes to social and environmental issues
  •     Sustainability-related initiatives are not yet deeply ingrained in most organizations
  •     Organizations that use sustainability strategies are more likely to be high performers in terms of reported progress in the market place
  •     Reducing or managing the risks of climate change was not highly rated in terms of its ability to drive key business issues, either today or in 10 years
  •     There are major gaps between the extent to which certain qualities are important for building a sustainable enterprise and the extent to which companies have these qualities
  •     There are no particularly strong barriers to making organizations more sustainable

Will the sustainability paradigm become more broadly and deeply ingrained in organizations in coming years? This report indicates that a variety of social, economic, and environmental trends are giving it a kind of momentum. The AMA/CMC/HRI team has created three scenarios about how the world might look in the future in terms of sustainability.

About Canadian Management Centre and our Research

Canadian Management Centre is a leading provider of essential information for sound business decision-making. In addition to our professional development programs, we routinely gather and broadly disseminate information and best practices on management, leadership and human resources via frequent surveys of our members and clients.

In collaboration with AMA, we're able to capitalize on this wealth of relevant research and global best practices to produce and provide, through our training solutions, the knowledge, skills and tools that assist Canadian individuals and organizations to improve operating performance, adapt to a changing workplace, and prosper in a complex and increasing competitive business world.

For further information please visit us at our website http://www.cmctraining.org or if you have direct questions please contact:

John Eckmire
Vice President, Public Programs & Education
jeckmire(at)cmctraining.org
416-847-6076

or

André Proulx
Director, Marketing
aproulx(at)cmctraining.org
416-847-6057

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