Targeting Business Value Drivers Most Effective Tactic to Drive Sustainable Behaviour by Companies: Expert Poll

24 January 2012 – Sustainability experts around the world believe that social activist tactics that directly impact business value drivers, such as product boycotts on sales or shareholder activism on access to capital, are the most effective ways of driving changes in corporate strategy and behaviour, according to a new poll released today.
The latest findings from The Sustainability Survey Research Program released by international consultancies GlobeScan and SustainAbility also indicate that experts believe activists will play a critical role on the sustainability agenda. Four in five agree that society needs activists to achieve meaningful progress on sustainability.


Effectiveness of Tactics Used to Drive Changes in Corporate Strategy and Behavior

The poll also finds that sustainability experts view investors and NGOs as key actors; despite the prominence of recent social protest movements, socially responsible investors and NGOs are thought to be the most important influencers on business and government. Social media is expected to grow in importance as a tactic for social activists, with nearly nine in ten experts expecting public criticism through online social media to increase in importance over the next three to five years.
More than 600 sustainability experts in businesses, NGOs, academia, government, and consultancies were surveyed in December 2011 on topics relating to the role of social activism in advancing sustainability. The Sustainability Survey is the largest global poll of the views of sustainability experts.

About The Sustainability Survey Research Study:

The Sustainability Survey research program is a unique, collaborative platform using research-driven expert insights to explore solutions to material sustainability challenges. The program is designed to help leaders navigate the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability by leveraging the insights from the most influential thought leaders in the sustainable development arena. These quantitative results then inform forward-looking strategic counsel and ongoing trends analysis for leadership organizations.

About GlobeScan:

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-led counsel at the nexus of reputation, brand, and sustainability. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco, and a research network across 50+ countries.

About SustainAbility:

SustainAbility is a think tank and strategy consultancy working to inspire transformative business leadership on the sustainability agenda. Established in 1987, SustainAbility delivers illuminating foresight and actionable insight on sustainable development trends and issues. The company operates globally and has offices in Europe, North America and India. For more information, visit