Senior Leadership’s Sustainability Capital Allocation Gap

Together with Robert EcclesAlison Taylor, and Salesforce, we recently interviewed senior professionals across finance, technology, and sustainability functions to identify the major gaps that stand in the way of making sustainability meaningful to corporate strategy.

The most dramatic gap is in capital and resource allocation: half of all senior C-suite-level teams show a high level of focus on average across sustainability risks, opportunities, and impacts, but less than a quarter of all senior teams allocate significant capital to deliver on these apparent priorities. These gaps suggest that it is easy to say yes to sustainability, but much harder to act on it. 


For too long, sustainability advocates have relied on the idea that progress is inevitable if leaders are enlightened on the issue and can be persuaded to talk about and focus on it. However, companies need to back up their rhetoric with practical action, closing the key gaps of capital/resource allocation as well as implementation, integration, and data to understand and deliver the full value of sustainability. 

Find out more about how the current imperative is to place sustainability at the core of strategy rather than treating it as a siloed, reporting-focused effort in our new report Sustainable Value Creation: Closing the Gap between Stated Commitments and Operational Realities.

 *Sustainability initiatives can be described in terms of the risks they manage for the business, the opportunities they create for the organization, and the impacts they have on people and the planet.

Survey Questions: Q1. How much focus has the Senior Management Team given to identifying and addressing each of these categories?  Q2. What is the level of capital and resource allocation for identifying and addressing each of the following?

Source: GlobeScan/Salesforce Value of Sustainability Project, a survey of 234 senior professionals in finance, technology, and sustainability functions