האם קיימות זה המפתח להצלחה עסקית?
Robert Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, and George Serafeim for the Guardian Professional Network
Companies that adopted environmental, social and governance policies in the 1990s have outperformed those that didn't
The broader societal concern about sustainability has grown from almost nothing in the early 1990s to a dominant theme today. Meanwhile, leaders of major corporations worldwide are increasingly facing the challenge of managing organisations that meet the expectations of a broad range of stakeholders (often themselves in conflict), while still delivering a return to shareholders. As a result, sustainability is now an essential ingredient for a company's long-term success and we have been able to provide solid evidence for this in a rigorous empirical study.
We compared a matched sample of 180 US-based companies, 90 of which we classify as high-sustainability and another 90 as low-sustainability. Our classification was based on the adoption of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies in the 1990s that reinforced a cultural commitment to sustainability. Examples of environmental policies included carbon emissions reduction policies, green supply-chain policies and energy and water-efficiency strategies. Social policies included diversity and equal-opportunity targets, work-life balance, health and safety improvement, and favouring internal promotion. Policies related to community included corporate citizenship commitments, business ethics, and human-rights criteria. Finally, other policies we accounted for related to customers, product risk and customer health and safety