Embracers vs Adopters of Corporate Sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, there are two distinct types of companies, according to a new study by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group.

There are “embracers”–those that place sustainability high on their agenda–and “cautious adopters,” who have yet to focus on more than energy cost savings, material efficiency, and risk mitigation.

The second annual Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study identifies seven specific practices exhibited by embracer companies, which together begin to define sustainability-driven management. These include the need to move early, even if you don’t have complete information; to be authentic and transparent both internally and with the external stakeholders; and to work aggressively to “de-silo” sustainability, integrating it throughout company operations.

Other findings include:

  • Improved brand reputation is perceived as the biggest benefit of addressing sustainability.
  • Automotive is seen as the industry for which sustainability is most critical now.
  • The commitment of the cautious adopters to sustainability is increasing at a far faster rate than that of the embracers.
  • Most companies–whether currently embracers or not–are looking toward a world where sustainability is becoming a mainstream, if not required, part of the business strategy.

The report includes case studies on Unilever and Clorox. It can be downloaded at the link below.

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0 thoughts on “Embracers vs Adopters of Corporate Sustainability

  1. Mainland

    I totally agree. I consult with small to med sized business. Your analysis is correct. The companies see movement even in products that keep their companies supplied, going green and more sustainable, but some are really either into the change and want to do their part, or kicking and screaming into the next generation.


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