Global Sustainability Trends 2013

Companies that are leading the sustainability field are detailed in the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability 2013, "Architects of a Better World". The core trends emerging from these leading companies are summarised below

1. Successful companies are not waiting for government and policy makers to act and are embracing social innovation as an opportunity for growth.

2. Individual innovation is scaling up to collaborative transformation.

3. Companies are increasing focus and adoption of the circular economy which decouples growth from resource use.

4. A two speed world is emerging where leading sustainability companies are seizing opportunities at speed.

5. Transformational leaders are approaching sustainability differently demonstrating business value through social impact.

Examples of companies leading the business case for sustainability are:

Philips closed loop Ecovision 5 Programme aims to double the collection and recycling of end of life products and the amount of recycled materials used by 2015. Philips has grown new markets for its lighting solutions through this method which now account for ⅓ of the company’s revenues.

LM Ericsson is driving the transition to a low-carbon economy in Sweden leading the Smart Communications project for Stockholm to be climate positive by 2030. Intelligent grids to reduce energy use and mobility management to optimise transport are targeted to reduce emissions by 1.5 tonnes per capita by 2020.

GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis joined 11 other companies, the US, UK and UAE governments, the Gates Foundation and other health organisations to eliminate or control 10 neglected tropical diseases by 2020 by working together on donations programmes, sharing expertise and funding on R&D and distribution.

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