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From insights to action, the path to extraordinary value starts here.
Shaping the
Sustainable
Organization
How responsible leaders create
lasting value and equitable impact
for all stakeholders
In collaboration with the
World Economic Forum
Operating sustainably is not an option.
It’s a business imperative.
Sources: Accenture Future of Work Study; Accenture Covid-19 Consumer Pulse Study; Principles for Responsible Investment.
Employees Consumers Investors
65% 66% 28%
believe organizations should
be responsible for leaving
their people "net better off"
through work
plan to make more sustainable
or ethical purchases over the
next six months
increase in investor signatories
in 2020 to the UN’s Principles
for Responsible Investment
Leaders are under intense pressure to build sustainable organizations that deliver
financial value and societal and equitable impact for all stakeholders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the challenge.
Stakeholders
are more
demanding:
Overconfident
leadership
teams drive a
sustainability
consensus gap
The apparent overconfidence of leadership
teams is evident in how they grade their
organizations’ overall sustainability
performance.
The further stakeholders are from the
management core, the more their
perspectives diverge, and the less able
organizations are to use their insights to
shape decision-making.
Executives rate the sustainability
performance of their organizations
higher than other stakeholders
Sustainability performance perception score (Max=100)
Figure 2
Source: Accenture analysis of executive and employee/consumer/citizen surveys.
Note: Respondents were asked a series of questions relating to the 21 practices and 10 enablers from our Sustainability DNA model.
Executive and employee scores were calculated from 23 questions; consumer and citizen scores from 10 questions.
71
67
65
57
56
Executives
Employees (all)
Employees (below management)
Consumers
Citizens
The credibility and authenticity of company
sustainability commitments should concern
leadership teams. These consensus gaps are
leading to an erosion of trust that can be felt
across the entire enterprise and stymie efforts
to shape sustainable organizations that deliver
value and impact.
Employees don’t
trust senior
leaders to
“walk the talk”
Our research shows that relatively few
stakeholders have full faith in the sustainability
promises that leadership teams make.
Stakeholder trust in business
sustainability commitments is low
How often do the companies you work for /buy from /interact with locally translate
sustainability commitments into positive social and environmental action?
Figure 3
Source: Employee/customer/citizen survey (N=2,408); excludes “Don’t know/Not applicable” responses.
Note: Respondents to the employee survey were randomly assigned to answer questions as consumers and citizens.
See “About the research” for further detail.
4% 13% 43% 31% 9%
Consumers
4% 12% 35% 37% 12%
Employees
Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
4% 15% 43% 30% 8%
Citizens
Sustainability
remains a second-
tier priority for
executives
Shaping more sustainable and equitable
organizations presents a major challenge to
many leadership teams.
Most executives recognize the benefits, but
58% believe operating more sustainably
involves a trade-off with growth.
When forced to
choose, executives
show a clear
preference for
more traditional
concerns.
Sustainability trails other
organizational priorities
Top business priorities (percentage of executives):
Source: Executive survey (N=1,496).
Note: Respondents were presented with 17 priorities which we then assigned to five buckets.
Graph shows the weighted average for each bucket. See “About the research” for further detail.
Figure 5
Financial performance
Brand reputation
Talent management
Sustainability
Offering development 24%
21%
20%
19%
15%
The cost of
persistent
consensus gaps
The lack of leadership focus on sustainability—
and on nurturing the stakeholder relationships
underpinning it—is and opportunity cost that
not only prevents progress but carries a
financial risk.
Stronger consensus on sustainability
performance is associated with better
financial performance
Positive sustainability consensus vs financial performance:
Figure 7
Stronger consensus on sustainability performance
Stronger
financial
performance
Average
Average
Change starts with the Five Elements
of Responsible Leadership
In our previous report, Seeking New Leadership, we identified five leadership qualities that executives need to guide
their companies in the decade ahead. However, these five elements are only the start.
Emotion
& Intuition
Instinct
Humility
Compassion
Intellect
& Insight
Data-to-knowledge
Critical thinking
Continuous learning
Mission
& Purpose
Integrity
System thinking
Sensemaking
Stakeholder
Inclusion
Trust
Accountability
Impact
Technology
& Innovation
Tech vision
Responsive innovation
Creativity
Shaping change
through
Sustainability
DNA
Comprised of 21 practices,
categorized into 10 enablers,
Sustainability DNA drives
human connections,
collective intelligence and
accountability at all levels
Stakeholder Emotion
Inclusion & Intuition
Mission
& Purpose
Technology
& Innovation
Intellect
& Insight
Analyzes inputs, impacts and risks
across multiple time horizons
→ Performance & Reporting
→ Risk Management
Champions inclusion,
diversity & equality inside the
organization and beyond
→ Equal Workplace
Opportunity
→ Human Development
Prepares people for the future
world of work through targeted
learning and development
→ Employee Growth
→ Ecosystem Development
Harnesses emerging tech to
solve problems without
creating harmful side effects
→ Data Privacy & Consumer
Protection
→ Environmental & Social
Innovation
Elevates good citizenship of
Earth's natural and human
environment
→ Sustainability Stewardship
→ Sustainable Operations
Takes a systematic approach to
upholding and enhancing
business ethics
→ Environmental & Quality
Standards
→ Competition & Conduct
→ Labor Standards
Upholds the rights and
responsibilities of all
stakeholders
→ Stakeholder Welfare
→ Environmental Targets
Is consultative and
listening by default
→ Feedback
Mechanisms
→ Comprehensive
Communication
Shapes workplaces and
stakeholder experience
to build mental and
physical resilience
→ Progressive
Working Practices
→ Health & Well-being
Embeds the organization’s
purpose in all activity
→ Executive Compensation
→ Transparency &
Accountability
Accountability at All Levels → Practices
Collective Intelligence
Human Connections
Click to see the enablers in action
at accenture.com
Sustainability
DNA addresses
barriers to
creating
stakeholder
value
02.
Collective
Intelligence
Decision-making
mechanisms that help
organizations make
better stakeholder-
centric decisions.
03.
Accountability
at All Levels
Making stakeholder value
creation a requirement at
all levels of the
organization.
01.
Human
Connections
Sensing and championing
the values and needs of
diverse stakeholders
across the business
ecosystem.
Strong
Sustainability
DNA is
associated with
higher value and
a lasting positive
impact on
society and the
environment
Source: Accenture analysis; Arabesque S-Ray; S&P Capital IQ
Organizations with the most
deeply embedded
Sustainability DNA
outperform peers by 21% on
both profitability, and
positive environmental and
societal outcomes
21%
higher EBITDA margin
(+3.4 percentage points)
21%
higher sustainability performance
(+9.2 index points)
AB InBev:
Innovating to close the loop
Challenge:
Reducing waste throughout the supply chain
Solution:
AB InBev has set a goal of 100% of primary
packaging to be returnable or made from
majority-recycled content by 2025. Enhanced
collaboration with suppliers, as well as with
start-ups, inventors and suppliers on a range
of innovations, is central to efforts to building
a more sustainable and inclusive value chain.
Sustainability DNA in action:
• Planetary Boundaries
• Tangible Empathy
• Progressive Technology
Cisco:
Offering a seat at the virtual table
Challenge:
Creating a more inclusive virtual communication and
collaboration experience for customers
Solution:
Cisco harnessed the power of AI to solve specific
inclusion challenges—such as unequal talk time and
differing levels of linguistic fluency. As a result, WebEx
now allows a meeting host to see who has yet to
contribute to a conversation and provides real-time
translation in 15 languages
Sustainability DNA in action:
• Animated Purpose
• Human Dignity
• Progressive Technology
Ecoware:
Championing a gender balanced workforce
Challenge:
Trying to create a more gender equal workforce
in the face of strong cultural resistance
Solution:
Indian food packaging manufacturer Ecoware
clearly prioritized bringing more women into the
workforce. They engaged in open conversations
with managers to understand and mitigate
concerns, and they then developed a set of flexible
practices to help women thrive in the workplace
Sustainability DNA in action:
• Animated Purpose
• Open Dialogue
• Active Resilience
Most companies need to
strengthen their
Sustainability DNA
*Based on data of 4,000 companies
Collective Intelligence
Human Connections
Average
score
52/100
On average,
companies score 52
out of 100 on the
Sustainable
Organization Index
Human
Connections
score
57/100
Companies perform
better at listening to
their stakeholders
Collective
Intelligence
score
47/100
They are weaker
at turning insights
into action
Stakeholder Emotion
Inclusion & Intuition
Mission Technology Intellect
& Purpose & Innovation & Insight
A continuous cycle of change to generate value
for all stakeholders
Sustainable leaders can take
actions to strengthen their
Sustainability DNA
15
Diagnose Define Develop
the strength of your
organization’s
Sustainability DNA
interventions to
address areas for
development
your roadmap to
create value while
leading with values
16
Take the Sustainable Organization
Rapid Diagnostic to measure your
progress and benchmark against peers
How strong is your
Sustainability DNA?
Sustainable Organization Rapid Diagnostic
17
By embedding stakeholder-centricity at the
heart of an organizational transformation,
leaders can deliver multi-dimensional value
and realize the promise of stakeholder
capitalism.
Turn responsible
values into
sustainable outcomes.
Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. 18
Shaping the
Sustainable Organization
Read the report:
accenture.com/sustainableorganization

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shapingthesustainableorganizationslideshare-220413142226 (1).pptx

  • 1. From insights to action, the path to extraordinary value starts here. Shaping the Sustainable Organization How responsible leaders create lasting value and equitable impact for all stakeholders In collaboration with the World Economic Forum
  • 2. Operating sustainably is not an option. It’s a business imperative. Sources: Accenture Future of Work Study; Accenture Covid-19 Consumer Pulse Study; Principles for Responsible Investment. Employees Consumers Investors 65% 66% 28% believe organizations should be responsible for leaving their people "net better off" through work plan to make more sustainable or ethical purchases over the next six months increase in investor signatories in 2020 to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment Leaders are under intense pressure to build sustainable organizations that deliver financial value and societal and equitable impact for all stakeholders. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the challenge. Stakeholders are more demanding:
  • 3. Overconfident leadership teams drive a sustainability consensus gap The apparent overconfidence of leadership teams is evident in how they grade their organizations’ overall sustainability performance. The further stakeholders are from the management core, the more their perspectives diverge, and the less able organizations are to use their insights to shape decision-making. Executives rate the sustainability performance of their organizations higher than other stakeholders Sustainability performance perception score (Max=100) Figure 2 Source: Accenture analysis of executive and employee/consumer/citizen surveys. Note: Respondents were asked a series of questions relating to the 21 practices and 10 enablers from our Sustainability DNA model. Executive and employee scores were calculated from 23 questions; consumer and citizen scores from 10 questions. 71 67 65 57 56 Executives Employees (all) Employees (below management) Consumers Citizens
  • 4. The credibility and authenticity of company sustainability commitments should concern leadership teams. These consensus gaps are leading to an erosion of trust that can be felt across the entire enterprise and stymie efforts to shape sustainable organizations that deliver value and impact. Employees don’t trust senior leaders to “walk the talk” Our research shows that relatively few stakeholders have full faith in the sustainability promises that leadership teams make. Stakeholder trust in business sustainability commitments is low How often do the companies you work for /buy from /interact with locally translate sustainability commitments into positive social and environmental action? Figure 3 Source: Employee/customer/citizen survey (N=2,408); excludes “Don’t know/Not applicable” responses. Note: Respondents to the employee survey were randomly assigned to answer questions as consumers and citizens. See “About the research” for further detail. 4% 13% 43% 31% 9% Consumers 4% 12% 35% 37% 12% Employees Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always 4% 15% 43% 30% 8% Citizens
  • 5. Sustainability remains a second- tier priority for executives Shaping more sustainable and equitable organizations presents a major challenge to many leadership teams. Most executives recognize the benefits, but 58% believe operating more sustainably involves a trade-off with growth. When forced to choose, executives show a clear preference for more traditional concerns. Sustainability trails other organizational priorities Top business priorities (percentage of executives): Source: Executive survey (N=1,496). Note: Respondents were presented with 17 priorities which we then assigned to five buckets. Graph shows the weighted average for each bucket. See “About the research” for further detail. Figure 5 Financial performance Brand reputation Talent management Sustainability Offering development 24% 21% 20% 19% 15%
  • 6. The cost of persistent consensus gaps The lack of leadership focus on sustainability— and on nurturing the stakeholder relationships underpinning it—is and opportunity cost that not only prevents progress but carries a financial risk. Stronger consensus on sustainability performance is associated with better financial performance Positive sustainability consensus vs financial performance: Figure 7 Stronger consensus on sustainability performance Stronger financial performance Average Average
  • 7. Change starts with the Five Elements of Responsible Leadership In our previous report, Seeking New Leadership, we identified five leadership qualities that executives need to guide their companies in the decade ahead. However, these five elements are only the start. Emotion & Intuition Instinct Humility Compassion Intellect & Insight Data-to-knowledge Critical thinking Continuous learning Mission & Purpose Integrity System thinking Sensemaking Stakeholder Inclusion Trust Accountability Impact Technology & Innovation Tech vision Responsive innovation Creativity
  • 8. Shaping change through Sustainability DNA Comprised of 21 practices, categorized into 10 enablers, Sustainability DNA drives human connections, collective intelligence and accountability at all levels Stakeholder Emotion Inclusion & Intuition Mission & Purpose Technology & Innovation Intellect & Insight Analyzes inputs, impacts and risks across multiple time horizons → Performance & Reporting → Risk Management Champions inclusion, diversity & equality inside the organization and beyond → Equal Workplace Opportunity → Human Development Prepares people for the future world of work through targeted learning and development → Employee Growth → Ecosystem Development Harnesses emerging tech to solve problems without creating harmful side effects → Data Privacy & Consumer Protection → Environmental & Social Innovation Elevates good citizenship of Earth's natural and human environment → Sustainability Stewardship → Sustainable Operations Takes a systematic approach to upholding and enhancing business ethics → Environmental & Quality Standards → Competition & Conduct → Labor Standards Upholds the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders → Stakeholder Welfare → Environmental Targets Is consultative and listening by default → Feedback Mechanisms → Comprehensive Communication Shapes workplaces and stakeholder experience to build mental and physical resilience → Progressive Working Practices → Health & Well-being Embeds the organization’s purpose in all activity → Executive Compensation → Transparency & Accountability Accountability at All Levels → Practices Collective Intelligence Human Connections Click to see the enablers in action at accenture.com
  • 9. Sustainability DNA addresses barriers to creating stakeholder value 02. Collective Intelligence Decision-making mechanisms that help organizations make better stakeholder- centric decisions. 03. Accountability at All Levels Making stakeholder value creation a requirement at all levels of the organization. 01. Human Connections Sensing and championing the values and needs of diverse stakeholders across the business ecosystem.
  • 10. Strong Sustainability DNA is associated with higher value and a lasting positive impact on society and the environment Source: Accenture analysis; Arabesque S-Ray; S&P Capital IQ Organizations with the most deeply embedded Sustainability DNA outperform peers by 21% on both profitability, and positive environmental and societal outcomes 21% higher EBITDA margin (+3.4 percentage points) 21% higher sustainability performance (+9.2 index points)
  • 11. AB InBev: Innovating to close the loop Challenge: Reducing waste throughout the supply chain Solution: AB InBev has set a goal of 100% of primary packaging to be returnable or made from majority-recycled content by 2025. Enhanced collaboration with suppliers, as well as with start-ups, inventors and suppliers on a range of innovations, is central to efforts to building a more sustainable and inclusive value chain. Sustainability DNA in action: • Planetary Boundaries • Tangible Empathy • Progressive Technology
  • 12. Cisco: Offering a seat at the virtual table Challenge: Creating a more inclusive virtual communication and collaboration experience for customers Solution: Cisco harnessed the power of AI to solve specific inclusion challenges—such as unequal talk time and differing levels of linguistic fluency. As a result, WebEx now allows a meeting host to see who has yet to contribute to a conversation and provides real-time translation in 15 languages Sustainability DNA in action: • Animated Purpose • Human Dignity • Progressive Technology
  • 13. Ecoware: Championing a gender balanced workforce Challenge: Trying to create a more gender equal workforce in the face of strong cultural resistance Solution: Indian food packaging manufacturer Ecoware clearly prioritized bringing more women into the workforce. They engaged in open conversations with managers to understand and mitigate concerns, and they then developed a set of flexible practices to help women thrive in the workplace Sustainability DNA in action: • Animated Purpose • Open Dialogue • Active Resilience
  • 14. Most companies need to strengthen their Sustainability DNA *Based on data of 4,000 companies Collective Intelligence Human Connections Average score 52/100 On average, companies score 52 out of 100 on the Sustainable Organization Index Human Connections score 57/100 Companies perform better at listening to their stakeholders Collective Intelligence score 47/100 They are weaker at turning insights into action Stakeholder Emotion Inclusion & Intuition Mission Technology Intellect & Purpose & Innovation & Insight
  • 15. A continuous cycle of change to generate value for all stakeholders Sustainable leaders can take actions to strengthen their Sustainability DNA 15 Diagnose Define Develop the strength of your organization’s Sustainability DNA interventions to address areas for development your roadmap to create value while leading with values
  • 16. 16 Take the Sustainable Organization Rapid Diagnostic to measure your progress and benchmark against peers How strong is your Sustainability DNA? Sustainable Organization Rapid Diagnostic
  • 17. 17 By embedding stakeholder-centricity at the heart of an organizational transformation, leaders can deliver multi-dimensional value and realize the promise of stakeholder capitalism. Turn responsible values into sustainable outcomes.
  • 18. Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. 18 Shaping the Sustainable Organization Read the report: accenture.com/sustainableorganization